RAIL: Ecosystem Attributes Report

Stream Ecosystem Attributes: refer to the extent to which a stream reach exhibits physical processes and structural attributes within the natural range of variability of the hydrologic regime. Based off of ratios between the aquatic macroinvertebrate functional feeding groups, a qualitative evaluation of the stream ecosystem “health” is assessed by indicating relative importance of stream autotrophy or heterotrophy, the size and relative amount of organic matter in transport and in storage, and the stability of the stream channel. Based off of this, one can identify a stream’s dependency upon a particular nutritional resource and how that resource is metabolized, patterns of geomorphic and biological changes, as well as potential alterations resulting from human impact.