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CUERE Seminar Series - Dr. Sarah Ledford

Urban infrastructure impacts on hydrology & stream ecosystem



Date & Time

November 12, 2021, 2:00 pm3:00 pm


This is part of the Fall 2021 CUERE Seminar Series, which is free and open to the public 

Dr. Sarah Ledford

Department of Geosciences 
Georgia State University

“Impacts of urban infrastructure on hydrology and stream ecosystems”

Urban infrastructure has changed the paths and reservoirs of water across the landscape, subsequently impacting the amount of water reaching streams and in-stream ecosystem processing. However, the response of streams has typically been hypothesized to be homogeneous, which misses important heterogeneities in infrastructure that may be driving localized spatial and temporal heterogeneous stream response. In this talk I will summarize recent research that evaluates these issues at different spatial and temporal scales. First, considering urbanization across the Piedmont, I evaluate urban baseflow relationships to natural physiographic controls and urbanization parameters. Next, looking at temporal changes on a smaller scale, I will summarize the spatial and temporal impact of wastewater treatment plant effluent on in-stream metabolism in urban streams and the potential impact of variability on regulatory monitoring. Lastly, I will consider the trade-offs on water quality and quantity that emerge when other mammalian ecosystem engineers (beaver) re-establish themselves in urban systems.