Aquatic Insects As Water Quality Indecators

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Aquatic Insects As Water Quality Indecators

  1. 1. The Use of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera In the Bioassessment of Water Quality. Bill Hickman Fall 2005
  2. 2. History <ul><li>1848: Scientists identify the absence of caddisfly larva </li></ul><ul><li>as the result of a city located upstream </li></ul><ul><li>1909: European Scientists provided the first </li></ul><ul><li>comprehensive system of biological water </li></ul><ul><li>assessment </li></ul><ul><li>1928: Study of the Illinois River reveals that most </li></ul><ul><li>members of the three orders (EPT) are highly </li></ul><ul><li>sensitive to a variety of pollutants </li></ul><ul><li>1970s North Carolina researchers had compiled enough </li></ul><ul><li>information on the state’s water ways to develop a base line data set. </li></ul><ul><li>1981: Annual monitoring of North Carolina’s waterways was </li></ul><ul><li>initiated by the NCDENR in 1981. Within a year, this </li></ul><ul><li>practice became standardized. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Physical Characteristics <ul><li>Temperature </li></ul><ul><li>Turbidity </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Buffers </li></ul><ul><li>Bank slope </li></ul><ul><li>Land use </li></ul>
  4. 4. Chemical Analysis <ul><li>TEST </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ph </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dissolved O 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nitrogen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phosphorus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Toxicity </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Chemical <ul><li>DISADVANTAGES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires expensive lab equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide variation in concentrations of pollutants from one time to another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can only show substances that are in the sample </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Chemical measurements are like taking snapshots of the ecosystem, whereas biological measurements are like making a videotape&quot; (Prof. David M. Rosenberg PhD, Univ. of Manitoba and the Freshwater Institute , DFO, Winnipeg. cf.  Bull. Entomol. Soc. Can. 1998.  30(4):144-152). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Biotic Indices <ul><li>Total Taxa Richness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplest measure of diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreases with decrease in water quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As less tolerant spp. die out </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>NC Biotic Index (NCBI) NCDEHNR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects general level of pollution regardless of source </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Biotic Indices <ul><li>Ratio of EPT/chironomidae abundance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even distribution=good water quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dominance of chironomidea=poor water quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>>50% suggest eutrophic conditions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Percent contribution of dominant species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>>35% poor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>35-25% fair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li><25% good </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Biological Assessment <ul><li>Bio Recon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify locations in need of further study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Show effects of long term exposure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many spp. Live a year or more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most can not escape the effects of pollution </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Biological Assessment <ul><li>Ease of collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers can be quickly trained to collect samples, with supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aquatic insects generally abundant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires no high tech tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only simple tools, man power, and taxonomic expertise required </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Sampling: <ul><li>Field Equipment/Supplies Needed for Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sampling: Multi-habitat Approach </li></ul><ul><li>standard D-frame dip net, 500 opening mesh, 0.3 m width (~ 1.0 ft frame width) </li></ul><ul><li>sieve bucket, with 500 opening mesh </li></ul><ul><li>95% ethanol </li></ul><ul><li>sample containers, sample container labels </li></ul><ul><li>forceps </li></ul><ul><li>pencils, clipboard </li></ul><ul><li>Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Data Sheet* </li></ul><ul><li>first aid kit </li></ul><ul><li>waders (chest-high or hip boots) </li></ul><ul><li>rubber gloves (arm-length) </li></ul><ul><li>camera </li></ul><ul><li>Global Positioning System (GPS) Unit </li></ul><ul><li>* It is helpful to copy fieldsheets onto </li></ul><ul><li>water-resistant paper for use in wet weather </li></ul><ul><li>conditions </li></ul>
  11. 11. Benefits of the EPT Taxa Metric <ul><li>Saves…..lab time, field time, & money </li></ul><ul><li>Bio-Recon </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency Environmental Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Early Alert- time to take action </li></ul>
  12. 12. Indicators of clean water Ephemeroptera : Baetidae Caenidae SIPHLONURIDAE HEPTAGENIIDAE Baetiscidae EPHEMERIADE ISONYCHIIDAE POLYMITARCYIDAE Mayflies
  13. 13. Indicators of clean water Plecoptera : Stoneflies Perlidae Taeniopterygidae Nemouridae Pteronarcyidae
  14. 14. Indicators of clean water Trichoptera : Caddisflies HYDROPSYCHIDAE LEPTOCERIDAE LEPIDOSTOMATIDAE GOERIDAE PHILOPOTAMIDAE RHYACOPHILIDAE
  15. 15. Indicators of bad water quality Chironomidae
  16. 16. Works Cited <ul><li>Lenat David and David Penrose. “History of the EPT Taxa Richness Metric.” Bulletin of the North American Benthological Society . Vol 13. 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Standard Operating Procedures for Benthic Macroinvertebrates- Biological Assessment Unit.” North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. NC:Division of Water Quality, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why Study the Stream-Bottom Macroinvertebrates?” <retrieved on 15 November from www.people.virginia.edu/~sos - iwla/Stream-StudyHomePage/WhyStu ...” </li></ul><ul><li>Williams Dudley and Blair Feltmate. Aquatic Insects. UK: Cab International, 1992. </li></ul><ul><li>Yandora Kimberly. “Rapid Bioassessment of Benthic Macroinvertebrates Illustrates Water Quality in Small Oder Urban Streams in a North Carolina Piedmont City” Greensboro: City of Greensboro, 1997. <retrieved on 15 November from </li></ul><ul><li>www.nwqmc.org/98proceedings/Papers/40-YAnd.html > </li></ul>

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