|SREL Reprint #0491|
Fish Diversity in Adjacent Ambient, Thermal, and
Post-Thermal Freshwater Streams
The Savannah River Plant area is drained by five
streams of various sizes and thermal histories. One has never been thermally stressed, two presently receive
thermal effluent, and two formerly received thermal effluent from nuclear
production reactors. Sixty-four
species of fishes are known to inhabit these streams; 55 species is the highest
number obtained from any one stream. Thermal
effluent in small streams excludes fish during periods of high temperatures, but
the streams are rapidly reinvaded when temperatures subside below lethal limits.
Some cyprinids become extinct in non-thermal tributaries upstream from
the thermal effluents after extended periods of thermal stress.
This extinction is similar to that which follows stream impoundment.
Post-thermal streams rapidly recover their fish diversity and abundance.
The alteration of the streambed and removal of overhead canopy may change
the stream characteristics and modify the post-thermal fish fauna.
SREL Reprint #0491
McFarlane, R.W. 1976. Fish diversity in adjacent
ambient, thermal, and post thermal freshwater streams. p. 268-271. In Thermal Ecology II, edited by
G.W. Esch and R.W. McFarlane. CONF 750425. ERDA Symposium Series.