Restoration of streams degraded by urbanization has usually been attempted by enhancement of instream habitat or riparian zones. Such restoration approaches are unlikely to substantially improve instream ecological condition because they do not match the scale of the degrading process. Recent studies of urban impacts on streams in Melbourne, Australia, on water chemistry, algal biomass and assemblage composition of diatoms and invertebrates, suggested that the primary degrading process to streams in many urban areas is effective imperviousness (EI), the proportion of a catchment covered by impervious surfaces directly connected to the stream by stormwater drainage pipes. The direct connection of impervious surfaces to streams means that even small rainfall events can produce sufficient surface runoff to cause frequent disturbance through regular delivery of water and pollutants; where impervious surfaces are not directly connected to streams, small rainfall events are intercepted and infiltrated. We, therefore, identified use of alternative drainage methods, which maintain a near-natural frequency of surface runoff from the catchment, as the best approach to stream restoration in urban catchments and then used models of relationships between 14 ecological indicators and EI to determine restoration objectives. Ecological condition, as indicated by concentrations of water-quality variables, algal biomass, and several measures of diatom and macroinvertebrate assemblage composition, declined with increasing EI until a threshold was reached (EI = 0.01–0.14), beyond which no further degradation was observed. We showed, in a sample catchment, that it is possible to redesign the drainage system to reduce EI to a level at which the models predict detectable improvement in most ecological indicators. Distributed, low-impact design measures are required that intercept rainfall from small events and then facilitate its infiltration, evaporation, transpiration, or storage for later in-house use.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.