The effects of water bodies on stream quality using Macroinvertebrate sampling

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The effects of water bodies on stream quality using Macroinvertebrate sampling. Adam Miller, Sloane Seferyn, and Karl Stefan. Objective:. To determine whether or not, and to what degree, bodies of water (ponds/lakes) affect stream quality. www.krisweb.com/.../krisweb/hydrol/riffle.jpg.
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The effects of water bodies on stream quality using Macroinvertebrate samplingAdam Miller, Sloane Seferyn, and Karl StefanObjective:
  • To determine whether or not, and to what degree, bodies of water (ponds/lakes) affect stream quality.
  • www.krisweb.com/.../krisweb/hydrol/riffle.jpgBackground information:
  • Macroinvertebrates are used as biological indicators of stream health.
  • Based on abundance and diversity one can determine the presence and level of stream pollution.
  • Macroinvertebrates are assigned rankings based on their sensitivity and tolerance to pollution.
  • Sensitive (caddisflies, stoneflies, mayflies)
  • Somewhat sensitive (crayfish, scuds, dragonfly nymphs)
  • Tolerant (snails, worms, leeches, midge larvae)
  • (Save our Streams, 2007)Why macroinvertebrates were chosen for this experiment…
  • Easy to identify
  • Fairly inexpensive and easy to collect
  • Occur in large numbers
  • Are very susceptible to changes in the ecosystem (Murphy & Willis, 1996)
  • http://people.virginia.edu/~sos-iwla/Stream-Study/Key/MacroKeyIntro.HTMLHypothesis:Null: There is no significant difference regarding stream quality between samples taken above and below the body of water.Alternate: There is a significant difference regarding stream quality between samples taken above and below the body of water.Predictions:The stream section sampled below the body of water will be healthier than the section sampled above.This trend will be similar throughout all locations regardless of their positions across the state.Methods:
  • We sampled 6 streams from across PA, above and below a body of water (pond/lake) that it ran through.
  • A person kicked substrate over a 1-square meter stretch for two minutes using a D-frame net (Murphy & Willis, 1996).
  • The macroinvertebrate samples were taken at each site and labeled accordingly and macroinvertebrates from each sample were identified.
  • The Save Our Stream Macroinvertebrate Count was used to determine the water quality of the stream (Save Our Streams, 2007).
  • Used a paired, two tailed t-test to
  • determine if there was a significant difference of stream quality above and below the body of water.intranet.ext.wvu.edu/.../Photos/insects.jpgResults:Save Our Streams, 2007Results:Shows that water quality scores improve below the body of waterResults: ContinuedDiscussion:
  • A critical value of 0.05 was used for the null hypothesis.
  • Because the p-value was less than 0.05 the null hypothesis can be rejected.
  • Therefore the alternate can be supported that there is a significant difference between water qualities above and below the body of water.
  • From the graph it can be seen that water quality is better below the body of water than above.
  • Why is this…?
  • A body of water might serve as a drop-off for sediments
  • Above the body of water the stream has sediments and pollutants
  • Once water from the stream enters the body of water, sediments are deposited to the bottom and in essence water is clarified.
  • www.epa.gov/bioindicators/images/maninwater.jpghttp://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterquality.htmlConclusions:
  • Overall, water quality does improve below the body of water
  • Because of the hindered flow of water in lakes and ponds substances might have enough time to settle at the bottom.
  • Another experiment  measure turbidity to determine if sediment is being deposited in the bottom of the body of water
  • Conclusions (continued)…
  • Sources of Bias:
  • Location (farms, golf courses, urban areas)
  • How can we account for pollutants that enter the body the water from other sources (for instance, the geology and seepage). Is water that exits more polluted on account of the body of water?
  • Does something enter the stream below one of your sample sites and effect the population of macro invertebrates in that area?
  • Varying stream order, geology, and other environmental conditions cause stream qualities to vary above and below a body of water
  • Not every body of water is the same
  • Take-Home Points
  • Streams are affected by a vast amount of things (geology, agriculture, deforestation, flooding, vegetation, etc.) in different locations along the stream.
  • From this study it was determined that a body of water generally removes impurities in the water to make life more sustainable downstream from the body of water.
  • Since we can’t constantly monitor different water quality characteristics (pH, dissolved oxygen, etc.) macroinvertebrate indices are an effective means of measuring a streams ability to sustain life (Murphy & Willis, 1996).
  • Water quality not only affects what we drink but also affects the animals and plants that rely on it and the organisms that live in water. Poor water may have adverse effects on flora and fauna and even our health!
  • References:
  • www.nps.gov/shen/naturescience/upload/SHEN_NR_stream_aquatic_macro.pdf
  • http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterquality.html
  • www.people.virginia.edu/~sos-iwla/Stream-Study/Key/MacroKeyIntro.HTML
  • http://www.dcmc.org.au/parklands/index.php
  • http://www.barnard.columbia.edu/iue/ForestCurricula/StreamInsectCrustaceanIDKey.htm
  • Murphy B.R. and D.W. Willis. 1996. Fisheries Techniques, 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Save Our Streams. 2007. Monitor’s Guide to Aquatic Macroinvertebrates. Izaak Walton League of America, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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