Macroinvertebrates and Bioassessment
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Macroinvertebrates and Bioassessment : Using Biological Indicators to Measure Stream Health Caitlin Chaffee URI Cooperative Extension. Presentation Outline. Measuring Human Impacts Biological Monitoring Macroinvertebrates as Indicators Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity

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Macroinvertebrates and Bioassessment: Using Biological Indicators to Measure Stream HealthCaitlin Chaffee URI Cooperative Extension


Presentation outline
Presentation Outline

  • Measuring Human Impacts

  • Biological Monitoring

  • Macroinvertebrates as Indicators

  • Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity

  • Macroinvertebrate Sampling Methods

  • Common Macroinvertebrates


Measuring human impacts
Measuring Human Impacts

Changes in land use affect watershed resources:

  • Changes in hydrology

  • Changes in water quality

  • Changes in stream morphology

  • Changes in stream ecology


Measuring human impacts1
Measuring Human Impacts

Increased development

= Increased Impervious Surface


Effects of Development on site Hydrology

40% evapotranspiration

38% evapotranspiration

10% runoff

20% runoff

25% shallow infiltration

21% shallow infiltration

25% deep infiltration

21% deep infiltration

10 – 20% Impervious Surface

Natural Ground Cover

*Percentages are estimates


Effects of Development on site Hydrology

35% evapotranspiration

30% evapotranspiration

55% runoff

30% runoff

20% shallow infiltration

10% shallow infiltration

5% deep infiltration

15% deep infiltration

35–50% Impervious Surface

75—100% Impervious Surface

*Percentages are estimates


Hydrologic Response: Developed vs. Undeveloped Conditions

DEVELOPED

Higher overall and peak volumeShorter time to peak flow

Runoff Volume

(Q)

UNDEVELOPED

Smaller volume, lower peakLonger time to peak flow

Time

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN???

More runoff in a shorter amount of time


The results
The Results

  • Flooding

  • Stream bank erosion

  • Stream channel widening and deepening

  • Lower base flows

  • Sedimentation

  • More pollutant inputs








Changes to water quality
Changes to Water Quality

  • Temperature

  • pH

  • Dissolved Oxygen

  • BOD

  • Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus)

  • Turbidity

  • Pathogens

  • Heavy metals

  • Petroleum based compounds


Measuring Human Impacts

biological indicator:groups or types of biological resources that can be used to assess environmental condition.

biological monitoring: the study of organisms and their responses to environmental condition

biological assessment: an evaluation of the biological condition of a water body using biological monitoring data and other direct measurements of resident biota in surface waters


Biological integrity
Biological Integrity

“the ability to support and maintain a balanced, integrated, and adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity and functional organization comparable to those of natural habitats within a region" †

†(Karr,1981)



Benthic Macroinvertebrates

(bottom-dwelling)(animals w/o backbones visible to naked eye)

Hydropsyche sp.

(Caddisfly larva)

Heptageniidae sp.

(Mayfly larva)

Perlodidae sp.

(Stonefly larva)

  • Great candidates for biological monitoring…


Macroinvertebrates as indicators
Macroinvertebrates as Indicators

  • Limited migration patterns–good indicators of localized conditions and site-specific impacts

  • Integrate effects of human impacts

  • Easy to sample and identify

  • Broad range of habitat requirements

    and sensitivities to pollution


Human impacts on macroinvertebrate communities
Human Impacts on Macroinvertebrate Communities

  • Changes to water chemistry / water quality parameters

  • Changes to habitat type


Characterizing macroinvertebrates
Characterizing Macroinvertebrates

  • Feeding habits (“functional feeding groups”)

  • Tolerance to Pollution


Functional feeding groups the river continuum vannote et al 1980
Functional Feeding Groups: The River Continuum(Vannote et al., 1980)

  • HEADWATERS:

  • Shredders abundant

  • Coarse POM

CPOM

STREAM ORDER

FPOM

  • MID-REACHES:

  • Grazers abundant

  • Higher 1° production

FPOM

  • LARGE RIVERS:

  • Collectors abundant

  • Fine-Ultra fine POM

Relative Channel Width


The tolerance index 0 10
The Tolerance Index0 - 10

0

10

most pollution sensitive

e.g. Stoneflies

most pollution tolerant

e.g. Midges & Leeches

contain hemoglobin, tolerate lower DO, prefer soft substrate, less sensitive to toxins

require high DO, clear water, rocky cobble substrate


Macroinvertebrates as indicators1

Stonefly Water Penny Beetle Mayfly Dobsonfly

Alderfly Mussel Snipe Fly Riffle Beetle

Macroinvertebrates as Indicators

Pollution Sensitive (“Clean Water”) Benthos


Macroinvertebrates as indicators2
Macroinvertebrates as Indicators

Somewhat Pollution Tolerant Benthos

Blackfly Caddisfly Isopod Cranefly

Damselfly Dragonfly Crayfish Amphipod


Macroinvertebrates as indicators3
Macroinvertebrates as Indicators

Pollution Tolerant (“Polluted Water”) Benthos

Pouch Snail Midgefly Worm Leech


Benthic index of biotic integrity b ibi

e.g. Taxa richness, relative abundance of certain taxa, feeding groups

e.g. Pollution, habitat degradation, flow alteration

HumanImpact

Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity(B-IBI)

  • Index based on macroinvertebrate samples that integrates several metrics to produce an overall“health score” for a given water body

    Result: dose-response curves to human impact

Generalized Plot of B-IBI Scores vs. Human Impact

IBI Score


Epa s suggestions for ibi use
EPA’s Suggestions for IBI Use feeding groups†

  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment

  • Watershed Protection

  • TMDL Process

  • NPDES Permitting

  • Ecological Risk Assessment

  • Development of Water Quality Criteria and Standards

    These are suggestions…Can IBI’s be successfully implemented in these programs?

† Barbour et al., 1999


Macroinvertebrate sampling the basics
Macroinvertebrate Sampling: The Basics feeding groups

  • Identify the goal – How will the data be used?

    • Regulatory purposes

    • Detect trends

    • Screening purposes

    • Educational programs

  • The goal should guide your sample design and dictate your methods


Macroinvertebrate sampling the basics1
Macroinvertebrate Sampling: The Basics feeding groups

  • Site selection (including reference site)

  • Site assessment

  • Organism collection and preservation

    • Standardize habitat type

    • Standardize sampling method

    • Dip net or sampler

  • Identification

    • Sample size

    • Fixed-count subsamples vs.

      “whole samples”

  • Calculation

    • Select metrics

    • Calculate IBI score

    • Compare to reference score


Example method rapid bioassessment protocol
Example Method: Rapid Bioassessment Protocol feeding groups

  • Sampled three 1m2 sections of stream reach (riffle habitat) with dip net

  • Subsample size: 100 organisms

  • Preserved and identified organisms in each subsample

  • Calculated RBP scores for each subsample


Rbp metrics
RBP Metrics feeding groups

# Taxa

# Ephemera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera taxa

% Ephemera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera taxa

Family Biotic Index – based on tolerance values

% Dominant taxon (diversity measure)

Ratio of scrapers to filterers

% Shredders

Community Loss Index – comparison to reference site

Maximum Score = 48

Score is then expressed as a percentage of reference site score.


Common Macroinvertebrates feeding groups

Mayflies (Ephemeroptera)

Isonychiidae

Ephemerellidae

Heptageniidae

Baetidae

(Adult)


Common macroinvertebrates
Common Macroinvertebrates feeding groups

Stoneflies (Plecoptera)

Peltoperlidae

Perlidae

Perlodidae

(Adult)


Common macroinvertebrates1
Common Macroinvertebrates feeding groups

Caddisflies (Trichoptera)

Brachycentridae

Phryganeidae

Hydropsychidae

Philopotamidae

Case

(Adult)


Common macroinvertebrates2
Common Macroinvertebrates feeding groups

Damselflies and Dragonflies (Odonata)

True Bugs (Hemiptera)

Dobsonflies, Alderflies and Fishflies (Megaloptera)

Beetles (Coleoptera)


Field day streamside biosurvey
Field Day: Streamside Biosurvey feeding groups

  • Simple method for macroinvertebrate collection and analysis

  • Includes macroinvertebrate collection and habitat characterization procedures

  • Practice identifying macroinvertebrates with keys


Acknowledgements

THANKS! feeding groups

BENTHOS ARE COOL

Acknowledgements

  • USDA CSREES New England Water Quality Program

  • Dr. Art Gold

  • Dr. Patrick Logan

  • Maria Aliberti

  • Sara daSilva


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