Natural history of stream invertebrates using and making sense of biotic indices and beyond
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Natural History of Stream Invertebrates: Using and Making Sense of Biotic Indices, and Beyond Natural History The study and description of organisms and natural objects, especially their origins, evolution, and interrelationships caddisfly sowbug Natural History

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Natural History of Stream Invertebrates: Using and Making Sense of Biotic Indices, and Beyond

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Natural history of stream invertebrates using and making sense of biotic indices and beyond l.jpg

Natural History of Stream Invertebrates: Using and Making Sense of Biotic Indices, and Beyond


Natural history l.jpg

Natural History

  • The study and description of organisms and natural objects, especially their origins, evolution, and interrelationships

caddisfly

sowbug


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Natural History

  • Some examples related to aquatic macroinvertebrates might include:

    • Ecology (relationships between living organisms and the non-living components of the environment in which they live)

    • Behavior

    • Functional feeding groups


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What Problems Must Macroinvertebrates Solve Because They Live In Streams?

  • Aqueous medium (tough to get O2)

  • Medium that is generally moving upstream-downstream

  • Diel variation in physio-chemical characteristics

  • Seasonal variation in hydrology

  • Connected to upstream conditions

  • Linked to land-water interface

black flies


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Feeding Groups or Guilds

  • Shredders - Coarse woody or plant associated materials

  • Filtering Collectors - Suspended particulates, microbes, phytoplankton

  • Gathering Collectors - Deposited particulates

  • Grazers/Scrapers - Peryiphyton & fungi

  • Predators - especially invertebrates

caddisfly

stonefly


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Some Guiding Principles for Classification

  • Everyone can classify objects

  • Ways macroinvertebrates may be classified:

    • Functional feeding groups

    • Morphology

    • Locomotion

    • Microhabitat

    • Type of metamorphosis

    • Means of obtaining oxygen

    • Need for oxygen / Ability of stream to provide that oxygen

net spinning caddisfly


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Biotic Indices

  • A way to classify based on macroinvertebrates’ tolerance to pollution

    • Generally this means organic pollution

      • Or that which affects oxygen levels in the stream


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Biotic Indices

  • Some organisms require water with a lot of oxygen in it

  • Others have adaptations to obtaining the oxygen they need


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Adaptations for Obtaining Oxygen

Morphological

  • Tubes

  • Soft tissue between segments & gills

  • Hair-like/Plate-like wings

    Behavioral

  • Body pumping

  • Swimming to surface

  • Construct burrows or tubes


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Biotic Indices

  • Assign pollution tolerance values to organisms based on their oxygen needs

  • Order level

  • Fairly Simple: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor

  • Tolerance values 1, 2, 3 and 4

    # Group 1 * tolerance value (4)=

    # Group 2 * tolerance value (3)=

    # Group 3 * tolerance value (2)=

    # Group 4 * tolerance value (1)=

    SUMA SUM B

  • SUM B/SUM A = Biotic Index Score


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Biotic Indices

  • More tricky: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, Very Poor

  • Weighted average: Each individual is counted (rather than just counting types)

  • Tolerance values 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

  • If 100 organisms in sample…

    Number of inverts in family * tolerance

    1*9=9

    10*8=80

    16*7=112

    14*6=84

    5*5= 25

    39*4=156

    5*3=15

    10*2=20

    100501

  • Answer: 501/100 = 5.01

  • Gives specific types of macroinvertebrates individual credit for being in the stream


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Diversity of Families of Aquatic Insects in Wisconsin

  • Generally find 10 Orders

  • Approximately 89 Families

water penny

riffle beetle


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What are tolerances, feeding strategies, and presence of different families in Wisconsin streams like?


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Mayflies use abdominal gills to obtain oxygen

Page 23


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Representative Mayflies

armored mayfly

flathead mayfly

Hexagenia

prong gill mayfly adult


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Dragonflies obtain oxygen through soft tissue between plates; Damselflies use leaf-like abdominal gills

Page 23


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Representative Dragonflies & Damselflies

broadwing damselfly larva

darner dragonfly larva

darner dragonfly adult

broadwing damselfly adult


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Stoneflies use thoracic gills to obtain oxygen


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Representative Stoneflies

perlodid stonefly

common stonefly


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True bugs may use atmospheric oxygen or may use hair-like or tube-like modifications on their abdomens


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Representative True Bugs

giant water bug

water strider

water scorpion

back swimmer


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Dobsonflies, fishflies, hellgrammites, and alderflies obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissue


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Spongillaflies obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissue


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Representative Hellgrammites or Alderflies (Top) & Spongillaflies (Bottom)

hellgrammite

Alderfly larva

spongillafly

adult alderfly


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Caddisflies obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissues and sometimes with gills and pumping water through case


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Caddisflies obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissues and sometimes with gills and pumping water through case


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Representative Caddisflies

humpless casemaker caddisfly

saddlecase maker caddisfly

net spinning caddisfly


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Aquatic moths obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissue


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Beetles obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissues and from the atmosphere through modified hairs and plate-like wings


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Representative Beetles

Riffle beetle adult


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Flies obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissues including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes


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Flies obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissues including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes


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Representative Flies

midge larva

cranefly larva

midge adult


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Long term sampling


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Biotic Indices aren’t the only solution

  • Diversity indices

  • Richness (# species)

  • Feeding guilds

  • Don’t forget to think about scale…


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Figure 2. Scale of Sampling and Analysis in Streams

Ecosystem/Biome

Watershed

Ecosystem

Reach

Community/Ecosystem

Pool-Riffle Sequence

Hours Days Weeks Months Years Decades Centuries

Population/Community

Microhabitat

Individual Organism,

Particle or Grain

MillimetersMeters KilometersSq. Kilometers


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Thought Question:

What spatial and temporal scale would you choose to sample to determine changes in populations (number of individuals of the same species in a given area)?


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