Has urbanization changed ecological streamflow characteristics in Maine (USA)?

Erik H. Martin, Christa Kelleher, Thorsten Wagener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper examines the potential effects of urbanization on streamflow in Maine, USA, from 1950 to 2000. The study contrasts nine watersheds in southern Maine, which has seen steady urban growth over the study period, with nine rural watersheds from northern Maine. Historical population data and current land cover data are used to develop an urbanization score for each watershed. Trends in watershed urbanization over the study period are compared to trends in ecologically relevant streamflow characteristics. The results indicate that trends in northern, rural watersheds are much more consistent than the trends in the southern watersheds. Additionally, trends in the southern watersheds are inconsistent with the hydrological characteristics observed in urban watersheds elsewhere, likely due to the comparatively low level of current urban development in Maine's urban watersheds. Our study suggests that urban areas in Maine have not yet reached an urbanization threshold where streamflow impacts become consistently detectable.Editor Z.W. KundzewiczCitation Martin, E.H., Kelleher, C., and Wagener, T., 2012. Has urbanization changed ecological streamflow characteristics in Maine (USA)? Hydrological Sciences Journal, 57 (7), 1337-1354.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1354
Number of pages18
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Maine
  • hydrology
  • land cover
  • land use
  • streamflow
  • urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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