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ASSESSMENT OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE PASSIVE SAMPLERS FOR SOUTHEASTERN COASTAL PLAIN NON-WADEABLE STREAMS

Macroinvertebrates are widely used for bioassessment, however a standardized method for sampling in non-wadeable streams has not been developed in Georgia. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness and biases of three types of passive sampling devices within the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers of the Southeastern Coastal Plain Ecoregion. We deployed three replicates of leaf packs, snag bags, and Hester-Dendy samplers at six sites for ~30d during the fall of 2014 to assess for differences in macroinvertebrate community structure between sampling devices. In addition, we used common bioassessment metrics to evaluate for differences in scores between sampling devices. Macroinvertebrate assemblages colonizing the sampling devices differed (PERMANOVA, F14,37 =1.6078 P=0.001) however, analyses revealed that these differences were driven by varying contributions of individual groups with each sampler collecting almost identical taxa at each site. Results also showed no significant differences between common metrics. Therefore, all samplers provided an efficient means for collecting site specific macroinvertebrates, however Hester-Dendy samplers provided a standard sampling surface for the calculation of biomass.

Kelsey Laymon (Primary Presenter/Author), Georgia Southern University, kelsey.laymon@icloud.com;


Damon Mullis ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Phinizy Center for Water Sciences, damon.mullis@phinizycenter.org;


Oscar Flite ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Phinizy Center for Water Sciences, oscar.flite@phinizycenter.org;


Checo Colon-Gaud ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Georgia Southern University, jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu;