Researchers Report that Widespread Stream Biodiversity Declines at Low Levels of Urban Development



Dramatically Lower Ecological “Tipping Point”

According to an article published by Science Daily, a new study from biology researchers at Baylor University (in Texas) and the University of Maryland-Baltimore has found that there are consistent and widespread declines in stream biodiversity at lower levels of urban development more damaging than what was previously believed.

The study found that aquatic life actually shows significant loss of biodiversity with less than two percent of developed land in a watershed.

Approximately 80 percent of the biodiversity loss came between 1/2 and two percent of impervious cover, and the remaining 20 percent of loss came between two and 25 percent.


A Washington State Perspective

“Such studies are rare indeed and should receive broad circulation.  This study adds to the work that Jim Karr, Derek Booth, and Chris May have done to define stream health with increments of watershed disturbance,” observes Tom Holz. Formerly with the City of Olympia, Tom Holz is well-known in Washington Tom holz (140p)State for his tireless efforts in leading change in the field of rainwater management and green infrastructure.

“The implications of this study regarding standards for development are truly sobering.  Our touch must be as light as those builders who used to prepare land with hand tools.”


To Learn More:

To read the complete article in Science Daily, click on Widespread Stream Biodiversity Declines at Low Levels of Urban Development

Journal Reference: Baylor University (2011, June 13). Widespread stream biodiversity declines at low levels of urban development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 2, 2011, from­/releases/2011/06/110608122958.htm


Posted June 2011