Water-Quality Assessment of the Ozark Plateaus Study Unit, AR, KS, MO, and OK–Fish Communities in Streams and Their Relations to Selected Environmental Factors
Fish communities from 18 stations in the Ozark Plateaus were sampled from 1993-1995. The 18 stations were chosen to represent selected combinations of major environmental factors (geology/physiographic area, land use, and basin size). Additional physical, chemical, and biological factors were also measured and the influence of these factors upon the fish communities was investigated. The relations between land use, stream size, and fish communities have implications for water quality assessments of Ozark streams. Compared to other parts of the U.S., many fish species live in the Ozark Plateaus. At least 19 of these species are endemic to the Ozarks area. Many of these species are intolerant of habitat or water chemistry degradation. This characteristic makes fish a useful tool for assessing water-chemistry and other habitat conditions of streams.