Agricultural ditches can improve water quality and serve as habitats of ecological importance within the agricultural landscape. This study investigated the impact of vegetation on water quality and wildlife in Northeast Arkansas agricultural ditches. Ten sites in two watersheds were measured weekly for sediment and nutrients from 2016 to 2018. Vegetative coverage and diversity were assessed seasonally at each site, whereas macroinvertebrate, amphibian, reptile, and bird sampling occurred in spring and summer. This study found that sites with greater bed and bank coverage had lesser loading values than sites with low bed and bank coverage across many of the measured parameters. Additionally, structure and quantity of vegetation was found to be more influential in determining biodiversity and community structure of organisms at a site than water quality. The results of this study will help improve water quality through improved agricultural ditch management and highlight the biological importance of agricultural ditches.
|Commitee:||Lizotte, Richard, Marsico, Travis, Neuman-Lee, Lorin, Stroud, Hubert|
|School:||Arkansas State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental science, Biology, Ecology|
|Keywords:||Agricultural ditches, Arkansas, Biodiversity, Ecotoxicology, Habitat quality, Water quality|
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