Recent work in river restoration and water resources management has seen the need to change the focus of analysis from reach to watershed scales to better define causes of watershed impairment. However, comprehensive investigations at a watershed scale are hindered by difficulties in using reach data that was collected for analysis at small spatial and short temporal scales. This is especially true for ecological and biological data. The approach assembles assessment and monitoring data and uses an autecology matrix to identify the changes in environmental and ecological conditions that may be associated with community change over spatial and temporal scales appropriate for ecosystem analysis in watersheds. The analysis uses a weight-of-evidence approach based on the percent of the community associated with a matrix factor. We have used the autecology matrix to examine historical fish community data from the Dahan River, Taiwan. The results show that the method provides an improved understanding of historical influences on fish community structure and supports a process-based analysis of community change over watershed scales and historic time periods. Further the method helps identify habitat requirements for the fish communities at each sampling site, supporting management and ecological restoration objectives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science