Aquatic habitat, function, and ecosystem services

Periods of water scarcity have impacts on aquatic habitat, function, and ecosystem services.

Increasingly, historically perennial aquatic systems are becoming intermittent, ceasing to flow or drying completely for extended periods during the year. Our approach to understanding the implications of water scarcity uses multiple approaches to understand how change is occurring.

We fill in gaps of this existing data using detailed field studies.

We have surveyed and instrumented stream reaches and isolated wetlands to examine responses of macroinvertebrates, freshwater mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and higher vertebrates, to hydrologic change.

Key Publications

Atkinson, C. L., S. P. Opsahl, A. P. Covich, S. W. Golladay, and L. M. Conner. 2010. Stable isotope signatures, tissue stoichiometry, and nutrient cycling (C and N) of native and invasive freshwater bivalves. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29:496-505.
DuBose, T. P., C. L. Atkinson, C. C. Vaughn, S. W. Golladay. 2019. Drought-induced, punctuated loss of freshwater mussels alters ecosystem function across temporal scales. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7:1-13 DOI:
Golladay, S. W., P. Gagnon, M. Kearns, J. M. Battle, and D. W. Hicks. 2004. Response of freshwater mussel assemblages (Bivalvia: Unionidae) to a record drought in the Gulf Coastal Plain of southwestern Georgia. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23:494-506.
Liner, A. E., L. L. Smith, S. W. Golladay, S. B. Castleberry, and J. W. Gibbons. 2008. Amphibian distributions within three types of isolated wetlands in southwest Georgia. American Midland Naturalist 160:69-81. pdf
Muenz, T. K., S. W. Golladay, G. Vellidis, and L. L. Smith. 2006. Stream buffer effectiveness in an agriculturally influenced area, southwestern Georgia: responses of water quality, macroinvertebrates, and amphibians. Journal of Environmental Quality 35:1924-1938.
Shivers, S. D., S. W. Golladay, M. N. Waters, S. B. Wilde, P. D. Ashford, and A. P. Covich. 2018. Changes in submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) coverage caused by extended drought and flood pulses. Lake and Reservoir Management 34:218-229. free eprint
C. N. Jones, N. G. Nelson, and Smith, L. L. 2019. Featured Collection Introduction: The emerging science of Aquatic System Connectivity II. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 55:1-3 DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12760
Sterrett, S. C., L. L. Smith, S. W. Golladay, S. H. Schweitzer, and J. C. Maerz. 2011. The conservation implications of riparian land use on river turtles. Animal Conservation 14:38-46.