Urbanization is an increasingly pervasive land cover transformation that significantly alters the physical, chemical and biological environment within surface waters.
The diagram below illustrates pathways through which urbanization may affect stream ecosystems. Riparian/channel alteration, wastewater inputs and stormwater runoff associated with urbanization can lead to changes in five general stressor categories: water/sediment quality, water temperature, hydrology, physical habitat within the channel and basic energy sources for the stream food web. This module is organized along these pathways. To learn more about specific topics, click on the links in the Module Links box.