data collection methods for nutrients in texas streams
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DATA COLLECTION METHODS FOR NUTRIENTS IN TEXAS STREAMS. Evaluation of Periphyton Abundance Joint Project In cooperation with the TCEQ Water Quality Standards Program. Project Team. Problem - Development of Nutrient Criteria for S treams. Chlorophyll-a

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data collection methods for nutrients in texas streams

DATA COLLECTION METHODS FOR NUTRIENTS IN TEXAS STREAMS

Evaluation of Periphyton Abundance

Joint Project

In cooperation with the TCEQ Water Quality Standards Program

problem development of nutrient criteria for s treams
Problem - Development of Nutrient Criteria for Streams

Chlorophyll-a

  • Measures suspended algae in the water column
  • Often included as part of routine monitoring
  • Good indicator of nutrient enrichment in lakes and reservoirs but generally not in streams
problem development of nutrient criteria for s treams1
Problem - Development of Nutrient Criteria for Streams

Periphyton - attached macro- and micro-algae

  • Often a better response variable to nutrient enrichment in streams than chlorophyll-a
  • Historical data on periphyton abundance are sparse
project purpose
Project Purpose

To evaluate four field methods for monitoring attached macroalgae and microalgae in wadeable streams

  • Quantitative
    • Scrape Method
  • Semi-Quantitative or Qualitative
    • Viewing Bucket Method
    • Transect Method
    • Photo/Grid Method
quantitative scrape method
Quantitative Scrape Method

Source:

Derived from the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program(Moulton II et al., 2002)

Moulton II, Stephen R., Jonathan G. Kennen, Robert M. Goldstein, and Julie A. Hambrook. 2002. Revised Protocols for Sampling Algal, Invertebrate, and Fish Communities as Part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. U.S. Geological Survey.

quantitative scrape method1
Quantitative Scrape Method

Obtain a composite sample from the richest target habitat (RTH) defined in descending priority:

  • Cobble (epilithic habitat)
  • Gravel (epilithic habitat)
  • Woody snags (epidendric habitat)
  • Macrophyte beds (epiphytic habitat)
quantitative scrape method2
Quantitative Scrape Method

Scrape designated number of samples for composite based on substrate

Gravel (epilithic habitat)

Cobble (epilithic habitat)

Woody Snag (epidendric habitat)

quantitative scrape method3
Quantitative Scrape Method

Measure in the Field -

  • Area of substrate sampled
  • Volume of rinse water used
  • Volume of each of two subsamples to be submitted for laboratory analysis
quantitative scrape method4
Quantitative Scrape Method

Subsample Preservation -

  • Field filtered through a 0.7 micrometer (μm) glass fiber filter
  • Filter placed in labeled Ziploc bag and stored frozen (on dry ice)
quantitative scrape method5
Quantitative Scrape Method

Laboratory Analysis -

  • Ash Free Dry Matter (AFDM) and Chlorophyll-a (CHLA)
  • Results calculated in grams per square centimeter (g/cm2) based on field measurements of area and volume sampled
viewing bucket method
Viewing Bucket Method

Source:

Derived from the Rapid Bioassessment Protocol developed by USEPA (Barbour et al., 1999)

Barbour, M.T., J. Gerritsen, B.D. Snyder, and J.B. Stribling. 1999. Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Wadeable Rivers: Periphyton, Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fish, Second Edition. EPA 841-B-99-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Office of Water; Washington, D.C.

viewing bucket method1
Viewing Bucket Method

Uses a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a transparent bottom that contains a fixed grid of 50 dots

viewing bucket method2
Viewing Bucket Method

Dots characterized as:

  • Macroalgae
  • Microalgae
  • Bare

Also measured -

  • Maximum length of macroalgae
  • Thickness of microalgae

(6 transects with 3 locations each totaling 18 locations per station)

transect method
Transect Method

Source:

Derived from field protocols developed by Utah State University (Hawkins, et al. 2001)

Hawkins, Charles, Jeff Ostermiller, Mark Vinson, and R. Jan Stevenson. 2001. Stream Algae, Invertebrate, and Environmental Sampling Associated with Biological Water Quality Assessments: Field Protocols. Utah State University.

transect method1
Transect Method

3 diagonal transects uniformly subdivided into 6 sampling locations (total 18 locations)

At each sampling point, pick up the nearest piece of substrate

transect method2
Transect Method

Document:

  • Percent coverage of moss
  • Percent coverage of macroalgae
  • Estimate of micro-algae thickness
photo grid method
Photo/Grid Method

Source:

Derived from an algae growth study performed by Paul Price Associates, Inc. and Alan Plummer and Associates, Inc.

Paul Price Associates, Inc. and Alan Plummer and Associates, Inc. 1993. Study of Algae Growth in the Upper Brushy Creek Watershed.

photo grid method1
Photo/Grid Method

Photos taken

  • Upstream and downstream views
  • 5 representative locations with 1 square meter (m2) grid
photo grid method2
Photo/Grid Method

Percent coverage of algae estimated from photos

Thickness and length of algae also recorded

additional parameters
Additional Parameters
  • Flow
  • Water samples analyzed for:
    • CHLA & Pheophytin-a
    • Total NO2-N+NO3-N
    • Total Phosphorus (TP)
    • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)
  • Habitat Assessment (year 1)
project sampling stations
Project Sampling Stations
  • 30 stations – Lower Brazos & Colorado River Basins
  • Selected to represent a variety of water quality & substrate conditions
  • All existing TCEQ SWQM Stations with biological data within the last assessment period (2001-2007)
slide23

Monitoring

Stations

project objective year 1
Project Objective – Year 1

To identify which Semi-Quantitative or Qualitative Method was best related to the Quantitative method

  • Quantitative
    • Scrape Method
  • Semi-Quantitative or Qualitative
    • Viewing Bucket Method
    • Transect Method
    • Photo/Grid Method
general assessment scrape method
General Assessment – Scrape Method
  • Sampling biased to RTH
  • Can be performed in most water depths and turbidities
  • Lots of small gear needed, onsite filtration, requires dry ice for freezing filters
  • Gravel substrates include lots of sediment
  • Very time intensive, needs lots of attention to detail to properly sample, field filter and record all needed information
  • Lab analysis of samples required
general assessment viewing bucket method
General Assessment – Viewing Bucket Method
  • Transects random
  • Requires decent visibility to substrate
  • Needs limited equipment
  • Fairly easy and relatively quick to implement with little training
  • Sometimes difficult keeping count of dots
general assessment transect method
General Assessment – Transect Method
  • Transects random
  • Can be performed in most water depths and turbidities
  • Needs only a tag line for transect
  • Simplest of 4 methods to implement
general assessment photo grid method
General Assessment – Photo/Grid Method
  • Biased toward observed algae
  • Requires good visibility to substrate
  • Equipment limited, construction of PVC frame simple, camera generally standard equipment
  • Very simple to implement , but requires documenting several photos per station and post-processing
  • With grid, % cover might be better estimated in the field than from photos
year 1 results1
Year 1 Results

Viewing Bucket vs Quantitative Scrape Method

year 1 results2
Year 1 Results

Transect vs Quantitative Scrape Method

year 1 results3
Year 1 Results

Photo/Grid vs Quantitative Scrape Method

project objective 1 year 2
Project Objective 1 – Year 2

Evaluate relation of selected Semi-Quantitative with Qualitative Method with 2 years of data

  • Quantitative
    • Scrape Method
  • Semi-Quantitative or Qualitative
    • Transect Method (selected) – modified to include length of longest macroalgae
project objective 2 year 2
Project Objective 2 – Year 2

Evaluate relationships of periphyton abundance to:

  • Instream Water Quality
  • Habitat Parameters
structural equation modeling sem
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)
  • Multivariate analysis technique that includes specialized versions of other analysis methods
  • Can be used for confirmatory or exploratory evaluation of model structure (i.e., the nature of processes potentially affecting a phenomenon)
conclusions
Conclusions

Scrape & Transect Methods

  • Worked well on most substrates
  • Some problems on gravel with scrape method

(Large amounts of sediment collected & high AFDM)

  • Both methods have issues if streams are not wadeable
  • Scrape and Transect methods positively correlated for general algal abundance
conclusions1
Conclusions

Scrape & Transect Methods

  • Algal abundance measures were more highly correlated to habitat than water quality parameters
  • SEM implied that substrate size and light were the most influential factors on periphyton growth
slide49

Thank You

Questions?

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