Aquatic Macroinvertebrates. And their role in Biomonitoring. Aquatic Macroinvertebrates and Biomonitoring. Introduction/definitions Types/Uses of biomonitoring +/- of using macroinvertebrates History Focus on EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocols Iowa’s Biological Assessment Program.
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And their role in Biomonitoring
Biomonitoring- an evaluation of the condition of a water body using biological surveys and other direct measurements of the resident biota in surface waters.
Benthic macroinvertebrates- organisms that inhabit bottom substrates for at least part of their life cycle and are retained by a 200µm to 500µm mesh.
Metric- quantifiable attribute of aquatic community that is ecologically relevant and responds predictably along a disturbance gradient
Biocriteria- numerical measurements or narrative expressions that describe the reference biological condition of aquatic communities inhabiting waters of a given designated aquatic life use (EPA 1996)
Sum of scores of individual families gives site score
Family (Species range)
From: Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Freshwaters-
Taxa Tolerance Values, Metric and Protocols (Mandaville 2002)
Ohio 232 reference sites over 5 ecoregions
Scored according to drainage area
# of taxa (species)
# of Ephemeroptera
# of Trichoptera
# of Diptera
% of Ephemeroptera
% of Trichoptera
% of Chironomidae (Tanytarsini)
% of other dips & non-insects
% of tolerant organisms (list)
# of EPT taxaInvertebrate Community Index (ICI) Ohio EPA 1987
(Karr and Dudley 1981)
(Karr, ISU seminar)
An evaluation of the biological condition of a stream using information obtained by sampling the resident aquatic community.
1. Sample aquatic organisms
2. Summarize data using biological indices
3. Compare to reference streams
3x Rock or wood in flowing water (Hess or Surber sampler)
Or 3x Multi-plate artificial substrates (4-6 week colonization)
Standard-Habitat Samples, ‘94-’98
Aquatic Life Use Attainment Determined from ‘94-’98 Biological Assessments (149 Stream Sites)