Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences
Committee Member/Second Reader
Lotic waterways are vital for habitat, food, water, and flood protection, but urbanization poses a major threat to their integrity. Runoff from urban surfaces leads to pollution, flashiness, loss of biodiversity, and other symptoms, also known as Urban Stream Syndrome (USS). To combat USS, streams can be restored, but most restorations are not monitored so their long-term effectiveness is unknown. This study quantitatively evaluated a decade-old stream restoration in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to assess its effectiveness in combating USS and achieving set restoration goals, and to gain insights for future restoration projects. Restoration goals included decreasing erosion and sedimentation, increasing pool and riffle habitat and aeration, and increasing nutrient assimilation. Physical, chemical, and biological data were collected at five sites above, at, and below the restoration for one year to determine whether water quality had improved significantly in the restoration and downstream sites as compared to the upstream sites. I found that turbidity levels were highest in the restoration reach, but that the other two goals were likely met. The restoration and downstream reaches had the most heterogeneous substrate and riffle/pool habitat, high dissolved oxygen, high macroinvertebrate abundance, and also demonstrated nutrient loss. This shows that some restoration techniques chosen seem to be effective, as well as highlighting the need for improved erosion prevention in future restoration continuation. Post-monitoring and gathering data like these are crucial to understanding how streams respond to restoration and urbanizing environments. As the world continues to urbanize, our lotic resources will degrade more quickly, and it is critical that we continue to study and adapt our responses to a changing world.
stream restoration, freshwater, water quality, urbanization
Scott, A. (2023). Stream Restoration Effectiveness in Mullins Creek in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/csesuht/37