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The need for presumptive habitat considerations in working with subterranean aquatic species of concern: Three Ozark region case histories, USA

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The need for presumptive habitat considerations in working with subterranean aquatic species of concern: Three Ozark region case histories, USA
Alternate Title:
NCKRI Symposium 2: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst
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Beeman, Shiloh L.
Aley, Thomas J.
Slay, Michael
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University of South Florida
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English

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Conference Proceeding
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pg(s) 377-381 Delineating habitats for aquatic species of concern present in groundwater systems, and especially those in karst groundwater systems, presents challenges. It is not reasonable to limit the delineated habitat to those portions of a groundwater system that can be directly observed. How then do we make reasonable delineations? Three case histories in the Ozarks region of the central USA illustrate differing approaches for identifying presumptive habitat in recharge area delineations for subterranean species of concern. The first case study of the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail explores the reasoning for designating presumptive habitat downgradient of observed habitat in a cave stream. The second case study of Ozark Cavefish illustrates reasonable designation of presumptive habitat in a complex distributary spring system that discharges water from a well-developed saturated epikarstic area. The final case history illustrates the case for expanding the presumptive habitat in both upgradient and downgradient areas for a Hell Creek Cave Crayfish site in northern Arkansas.
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11841 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Description
pg(s) 377-381
Delineating habitats for aquatic species of concern present in
groundwater systems, and especially those in karst groundwater
systems, presents challenges. It is not reasonable to limit the
delineated habitat to those portions of a groundwater system
that can be directly observed. How then do we make reasonable
delineations? Three case histories in the Ozarks region of the
central USA illustrate differing approaches for identifying
presumptive habitat in recharge area delineations for
subterranean species of concern. The first case study of the
Tumbling Creek Cavesnail explores the reasoning for designating
presumptive habitat downgradient of observed habitat in a cave
stream. The second case study of Ozark Cavefish illustrates
reasonable designation of presumptive habitat in a complex
distributary spring system that discharges water from a
well-developed saturated epikarstic area. The final case
history illustrates the case for expanding the presumptive
habitat in both upgradient and downgradient areas for a Hell
Creek Cave Crayfish site in northern Arkansas.



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13TH SINKHOLE CONFERENCE NCKRI SYMPOSIUM 2 caves generally provide only a small area of access to a much larger groundwater system. Presumptive habitat is the concept that all groundwater with subsurface hydrological interconnections should be presumed to contain the species of concern that is found in accessible in this concept is the assumption that the conditions groundwater are compatible with the survival of the species in question. This concept allows for more realistic evaluation of the habitat for subterranean aquatic species of concern. It is important to distinguish the recharge area from presumptive habitat. In most cases, the entire recharge area should not be included as presumptive habitat for the aquatic species. In many cases characteristics of the species in question indicate that certain portions of the recharge area would not be expected to contain the species of concern. Although the entire recharge area for aquatic species should be managed to maintain good water quality of the probable extent of species habitat beyond an area of direct observation is important for the effective management of subterranean aquatic species of concern. Abstract Delineating habitats for aquatic species of concern present in groundwater systems, and especially those in karst groundwater systems, presents challenges. It is not reasonable to limit the delineated habitat to those portions of a groundwater system that can be directly observed. case histories in the Ozarks region of the central USA illustrate differing approaches for identifying presumptive habitat in recharge area delineations for the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail explores the reasoning for designating presumptive habitat downgradient of observed habitat in a cave stream. The second case study presumptive habitat in a complex distributary spring the case for expanding the presumptive habitat in both Introduction Delineating habitats for aquatic species of concern present in groundwater systems, and especially those in karst groundwater systems, presents challenges. It is not reasonable to limit the delineated habitat to those portions of a groundwater system that can be delineations? This paper presents three case histories of the use of presumptive habitat designations in recharge area delineations. Presumptive Habitat observation or capture. This method is severely limited when dealing with subterranean aquatic species. Even THE NEED FOR PRESUMPTIVE HABITAT CONSIDERATIONS IN WORKING WITH SUBTERRANEAN AQUATIC SPECIES OF CONCERN: THREE OZARK Shiloh L. Beeman, Thomas J. Aley Ozark Underground Laboratory, Inc., 1572 Aley Lane, Protem, Missouri, USA, Shiloh@ozarkundergroundlab.com Michael Slay 377 The Tumbling Creek Cavesnail ( Antrobia culveri ) is federally listed as endangered under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The only known habitat for this aquatic cavesnail is the stream in Tumbling Creek Cave in As a result of litigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to designate critical habitat for this species. A hydrogeologically based determination of the area that constituted critical habitat for this species was needed.

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NCKRI SYMPOSIUM 2 13TH SINKHOLE CONFERENCE 20 springs depending upon how one counts springs that are relatively close to one another. These springs are located along 1,585 meters (5,200 feet) of surface stream channels. The range in elevation of these springs is 15.7 introduced into Tumbling Creek in areas near the Big Room will subsequently discharge from all of the 15 to 20 documented. The relatively insoluble nature of the chert is the reason for the large number of springs. Under high cms) that passes the weir in the Big Room. Flow beneath the chert unit between the cave and the springs is through a matrix of solutionally widened and interconnected openings localized immediately beneath large number of springs draining the cave and the rapid tracer tests. This area provides presumptive habitat for the cavesnail. The karst groundwater system beneath the chert unit is not humanly accessible so no survey can be conducted in the hydrologic and biologic conditions present for snails beneath the chert unit and hydrologically down gradient of the accessible portions of Tumbling Creek are essentially identical with the conditions found in the areas of Tumbling Creek that are known habitat for the Bat guano that is an important energy source for the cave area are rapid and, like the accessible portions of the cave stream, capable of transporting sediment and organic matter in suspension. As a consequence, during storm events Tumbling Creek and all of the springs are turbid. The designated critical habitat for the cavesnail (Federal Register 2011) includes all accessible portions of Tumbling Creek within the cave. It also includes as presumptive habitat the springs known to drain Tumbling Creek Cave and most of the lands immediately underlain by the chert unit in locations tributary to the springs. portions of the cave are in the lower members of the dolomitic Cotter Formation of Ordovician age. A locally massive chert unit with a typical thickness cave passages. While dolomite is relatively soluble in groundwater, chert is relatively insoluble. Water passing through a fracture in dolomite will, through time, enlarge the opening by solution. In contrast, the passing water will be much less effective in enlarging a similar fracture in the chert. The distance from the bed of the cave stream to the top the cave stream the water rises through a solutionally water is rising under pressure up through the chert bed rises through a pool that apparently overlies another fracture in the chert unit. The weir at the stream gauging station in the cave is about 595 meters (1,952 feet) upstream of the Bear Cave entrance to the Tumbling Creek Cave System. Flow rates of about 0.12 cubic meters per second (cms) at the weir are needed before any flow in the cave stream will discharge through the Bear Cave entrance. Water lost from the channel of Tumbling Creek moves downward through fractures in the chert into dolomitic units that underlie the chert unit. The sinking segments of the cave stream are highly localized and most are within 150 meters of the Bear Cave entrance. The largest single flow loss zone is about 60 meters (197 feet) upstream of this entrance. With the exception of the Bear Cave entrance to the cave (which is above the chert unit), all of the springs that drain the cave and the accessible portions of the snail habitat derive almost all of their water from present in a karst window located between the Bear Cave entrance and most of the springs. 378

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13TH SINKHOLE CONFERENCE NCKRI SYMPOSIUM 2 some habitat in epikarstic zones. The epikarstic zone is the weathered upper portion of soluble bedrock units. Its thickness is highly variable, but road cuts near Ozark thickness of the epikarstic zone in valleys, and especially likely that typical thicknesses equal and probably exceed those observed in highway road cuts passing through stream valleys are largely saturated with water and, as a result, provide substantial habitat for cave fauna Dye tracing can yield detections at two or more springs. Distributary spring systems can be common in areas is known habitat for a species of concern, then it is reasonable to conclude that all of the hydrologically linked spring system should be viewed as presumptive springs are draining a saturated epikarstic system. This hydrogeologic condition further supports presumptive habitat within the other springs with hydrologic interactions. Credible hydrogeologic and biologic data, including the uniformity of conditions, support recognition of this downgradient area as presumptive habitat for the cavesnail and warrant its designation as critical habitat. Amblyopsis rosae Ozarks into northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma. species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Several small community of Neosho, Missouri USA. the threatened species. Five groundwater traces were Spring (Aley and Aley 1997). A recharge area of 14.7 square kilometers (5.67 square miles) was delineated for the spring and consisted of lands in two different Spring were also detected at South Big Spring, located approximately 1220 meters (4000 feet) to the northwest. previously considered to be presumptive habitat based important hydrobiological concept. shared with the recharge areas of four other springs east. This distributary groundwater system is draining al. (2007) summarized recharge area delineation results Oklahoma. They found that 79% of the sites had at least 379 Cambarus zophonastes ) was discovered in a small spring located along a perennial stream that bisects the small town of Yellville, Arkansas. This troglobitic species is federally listed as endangered and previously known only from two caves located approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the southeast. tributary. The recharge area delineation was performed several good rainfall events did occur that allowed for the introduction of tracer dyes, the study was largely performed under regional drought conditions. basins, including East Prong and Town Branch upstream

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NCKRI SYMPOSIUM 2 13TH SINKHOLE CONFERENCE 380 conditions (12.6 square kilometers or 4.9 square miles). The expanded presumptive habitat designation and subsequently the larger recharge area provide a more reasonable area for conservation management for species protection. Summary From a conservation perspective, the entire recharge area must be managed for subterranean, aquatic species recharge area, the presumptive habitat must be considered in addition to the known habitats of observed populations. In most cases it is more reasonable to extend presumptive habitat downgradient from a known site than upgradient. This was the case with Tumbling Creek Cavesnail. an expanded area downgradient from the known habitat within the cavestream even though direct observation in this area is not available. Other cases of important presumptive habitat designation include distributary spring systems that drain saturated it is reasonable that if a known population exists in one spring, populations could exist in other areas with hydrogeologic connections and similar hydroglogical conditions. Presumptive habitat designations in these laterally expansive, and can therefore result in larger connections between observed population sites and other important to be established during the recharge area delineation of a known population of concern. In some settings, it is reasonable to extend the presumptive habitat upgradient from a known population site. The hydrologic connections through seasonal groundwater subterranean species of concern has led to a presumptive habitat designation that was expanded to include some presumptive habitat is important to identify an adequate recharge area for effective species protection, especially considering the population growth and ongoing development in this area. present at the time of the study, only one of these dye introductions (East Prong) was detected in Legion Spring (Kirkland and Aley 2012). Although gaining Spring, groundwater tracing results indicated water from Town Branch downstream of Legion Spring was sinking into the subsurface and recharging two small springs in Dye tracing indicated the recharge area for the spring conditions of the study included 18.4 square kilometers spring was reasonable. Several lines of evidence pointed to a larger presumptive well developed epikarst was observed in road cuts and encountered in borings at a nearby petroleum release site. The spring was located on the main branch of a small creek only water from the tributary valley was traced to the to be present within the epikarst on the across the small creek. Upstream of Legion Spring on Town Branch is a gaining segment of the creek that drains the epikarst, as evidenced by a healthy population of watercress in the creek immediately downstream of the point where water is reasonable that the areas of saturated epikarst also be included within the presumptive habitat. Areas downstream of Legion Spring along Town Branch were also included within the presumptive habitat due to the presence of perennial springs with hydrologic interactions with Town Branch below Legion Spring. These downgradient areas extensively developed and saturated epikarst. A larger presumptive habitat was reasonable for the designated presumptive habitat area consisted of 2.2 square kilometers (0.85 square miles) in areas both upgradient and downgradient of the observed population site. In consideration of the larger presumptive habitat, a larger recharge area (18.4 square kilometers or 7.1 square miles)

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13TH SINKHOLE CONFERENCE NCKRI SYMPOSIUM 2 381 References delineation, hydrobiological assessment, and (Amblyopsis rosae) populations in Missouri. Contract study for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Ozark Underground Laboratory, Inc. 115 p. plus appendices. Aley T, Aley C. 2001. Delineation of the recharge areas for Tumbling Creek Cave and Millrace Springs, Taney County, Missouri. Contract study for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Ozark Underground characteristics of delineated recharge areas for 40 in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Proc. 18th National Cave and Karst Management Aley T, Coonrod D, Kirkland S. 2011. Walbridge Spring delineation study and vulnerability mapping, City of Neosho, Newton County, Missouri. Contract study for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Ozark Underground Laboratory, Inc. 48 p. plus appendices. area delineation and vulnerability assessment of Arkansas. Contract study for The Nature Conservancy by Ozark Underground Laboratory, Inc. 66 p. plus appendices. (Antrobia culveri) recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia, MO. 97p. for subterranean aquatic species of concern. Proc. 16th National Cave and Karst Management

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NCKRI SYMPOSIUM 2 13TH SINKHOLE CONFERENCE 382