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Probabilistic relationships between acid-base chemistry and fish assemblages in streams of the western Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA

February 1, 2019

Surface waters across much of the Adirondacks of New York were acidified in the late 20th century but began to recover after the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. Little data, however, were available to characterize biological impacts and predict recovery of fish assemblages in regional streams. Quantitative fish and chemistry surveys were completed in 47 headwater streams during summer 2014-16 to develop logistic (probabilistic) models that characterize the status of contemporary fish assemblages and predict how different N and S deposition loads may affect future fish assemblages. Models for Ali and richness ≥1 species, ANC and total density >400 fish/0.1 ha, ANC and total biomass >1500 g/0.1, presence of Brook Trout, trout density >200 fish/0.1 ha, and trout biomass >1000 g/0.1 ha were suitable for evaluating community and population responses to changes in acid-base chemistry. Anticipated changes in national (US) secondary standards for atmospheric emissions of NOx and SOx to achieve target N and S deposition loads will alter acid-base chemistry and the probabilities for observing various levels of fish metrics in streams across the region and elsewhere.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Probabilistic relationships between acid-base chemistry and fish assemblages in streams of the western Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA
DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2018-0260
Authors Barry Baldigo, Scott George, Timothy J. Sullivan, Charles T. Driscoll, Douglas A. Burns, Shuai Shoa, Gregory B. Lawrence
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Series Number
Index ID 70207449
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New York Water Science Center

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