Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017
This study sought to quantify land use types in Lancaster County and identify which, if any, environmental parameters were significantly influencing fish and invertebrate distribution in the Salt Creek basin. Historical sampling data were obtained from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Watershed land cover maps were created and the percentages of urban/developed, forested, row crop, and grassland use were calculated. This data was combined with NDEQ water quality parameter, fish, and invertebrate sampling data to conduct nonmetric multidimensional scaling. This analysis did not provide significant conclusions about the driving force of fish and invertebrate distribution in this region because the scope of this study was limited to a predominantly agricultural watershed and the sampling sites were too similar. However, the wide distribution and abundance of a variety of generalist indicator species including Cyprinella lutrensis (red shiner), Lepomis cyanellus (green sunfish), and Chironomidae (non-biting midges) suggest streams in the Salt Creek basin are widely degraded.