ASSESSING LONG-TERM ECOLOGICAL CHANGE IN THE OGEECHEE RIVER USING AQUATIC INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES
In the 1980s, an extensive collection of aquatic invertebrates from the Ogeechee River (Georgia, USA) was produced from sampling submerged woody debris. Since this collection, there has been considerable change on both a global and local scale. Currently, we are repeating the sampling to compare aquatic invertebrate communities between the past and present. Our aim is to understand: (1) whether changes in community structure and trait diversity have occurred, (2) what trends dominate in these invertebrate assemblages, and (3) what might be the source of changes. Initial re-analysis of the 1980s data shows that communities varied by season but not by sampling year. Additionally, most of the dominant taxa in the 1980s are still present, but current sampling has revealed the presence of a new taxon to appear consistently on submerged woody debris, the caddisfly genus Brachycentrus. By revisiting the original collection and making this addition to it, and preserving both in a natural history museum, our goal is to provide a basis for continued study in light of global change and anthropogenic effects on invertebrate biodiversity in Southeastern rivers.
Kelly Murray (Primary Presenter/Author), Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Joseph McHugh ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, email@example.com;
Darold Batzer ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, firstname.lastname@example.org;