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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Urbanization in a great plains river: Effects on fishes and food webs


Jeffrey Eitzmann

Craig Paukert

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Secondary Title:
River Research and Applications
n/a - n/a


Spatial variation of habitat and food web structure of the fish community was investigated at three reaches in the Kansas River, USA to determine if δ13C variability and δ15N values differ longitudinally and are related to urbanization and instream habitat. Fish and macroinvertebrates were collected at three river reaches in the Kansas River classified as the less urbanized reach (no urban in riparian zone; 40% grass islands and sand bars, braided channel), intermediate (14% riparian zone as urban; 22% grass islands and sand bars) and urbanized (59% of riparian zone as urban; 6% grass islands and sand bars, highly channelized) reaches in June 2006. The less urbanized reach had higher variability in δ13C than the intermediate and urbanized reaches, suggesting fish from these reaches utilized a variety of carbon sources. The δ15N also indicated that omnivorous and detritivorous fish species tended to consume prey at higher trophic levels in the less urbanized reach. Channelization and reduction of habitat related to urbanization may be linked to homogenization of instream habitat, which was related to river food webs.