Living With Daylighting

Damselfly in Flight

Damselfly in Flight

Urban streams can be an impediment to movement and land use. In the past, some streams have been engineered into underground pipes. This solves issues related to human movement, but can alter the macroinvertebrate composition. Occasionally, the process is reversed; the pipes and earth removed in a process known as daylighting. Studying stream biodiversity pre- and post- daylighting is one way to assess the impact of stream engineering.

New Zealand scientists* studied the effects of daylighting on two streams in an Aukland, NZ park. Two reaches of a stream that had been diverted into pipes were uncovered and replaced by engineered stream channels and banks for 90 meter stretches. Daylighting substantially increased the biodiversity in the stream. 44 new taxa were collected and 11 disappeared. After daylighting, more algae and less micro-organismal biofilm resources were present in the stream driving the change in species composition. Although there may be good reasons for diverting streams into underground pipes, it can be important to understand that such engineering has an effect on biodiversity.

*M.W. Neale & E.R. Moffett. Re-engineering buried urban streams: Daylighting results in rapid changes in stream invertebrate communities. Ecological Engineering 87 (2016) 175–184.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

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