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EFFECTS OF PRESCRIBED BURNS ON CHIRONOMIDAE (INSECTA:DIPTERA) COMMUNITIES

Fires can have detrimental impacts on macroinvertebrate communities by temporarily increasing stream temperature and/or reducing or eliminating cover within the stream riparian area. Here, we attempt to assess the impacts of fire on a subset of the macroinvertebrate community, the chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae), by analyzing community composition before and after a prescribed burn near Blue Cloud Abbey Stream outside of Marvin, South Dakota, USA. The stream was divided into four sampling reaches: upstream of the burn area, within the burn area, and two sites downstream of the burn. Samples of surface floating Chironomidae pupal exuviae were gathered using a pan and sieve; samples were collected once before and three times after the prescribed burn for a total of thirty-two samples. A total of 380 chironimid pupal exuviae were sorted from sixteen of the samples. Exuviae were stored in 70% ethanol and brought back to the lab for sorting, slide-mounting, and identification. While slide-mounting and identification are still in progress, we anticipate that results will provide new information regarding potential impacts of small scale riparian area burns on the chironomid community.

Tessa Durnin (Primary Presenter/Author), Northern State University, tessa.durnin@wolves.northern.edu;


Alyssa Anderson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Northern State University, alyssa.m.anderson@northern.edu;