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 Sense of Biotic Indices, and Beyond

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

caddisfly

sowbug


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Natural History Sense of Biotic Indices, and Beyond

  • 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 Live In Streams?

  • 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 Live In Streams?

  • 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 Live In Streams?

  • 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 Live In Streams?

  • 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 Live In Streams?

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 Live In Streams?

  • 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)=

    SUM A SUM B

  • SUM B/SUM A = Biotic Index Score


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Biotic Indices Live In Streams?

  • 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

    100 501

  • Answer: 501/100 = 5.01

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


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Diversity of Families Live In Streams?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 different families in Wisconsin streams like?

Page 23


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Representative Mayflies different families in Wisconsin streams like?

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 plates; Damselflies use leaf-like abdominal gills

broadwing damselfly larva

darner dragonfly larva

darner dragonfly adult

broadwing damselfly adult


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Stoneflies use thoracic gills to obtain oxygen plates; Damselflies use leaf-like abdominal gills


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Representative Stoneflies plates; Damselflies use leaf-like abdominal gills

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 tube-like modifications on their abdomens

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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Representative Hellgrammites or Alderflies (Top) & tissue 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 tissues and sometimes with gills and pumping water through case

humpless casemaker caddisfly

saddlecase maker caddisfly

net spinning caddisfly



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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 and from the atmosphere through modified hairs and plate-like wings

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 including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes

midge larva

cranefly larva

midge adult


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Long term sampling including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes


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Biotic Indices aren’t the only solution including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes

  • 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 including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes

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

Millimeters Meters Kilometers Sq. Kilometers


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Thought Question: including abdominal gills and atmospheric oxygen through breathing tubes

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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