GEOLOGIC INFLUENCES ON AQUATIC INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND INTEGRITY IN OZARK TRIBUTARIES AT BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER AND OZARK NATIONAL SCENIC RIVERWAYS
Watersheds are influenced by local and regional environmental factors that affect surface flows, groundwater sources, and aquatic invertebrate communities. Geologic characteristics associated with karst topography play a key role in structure and function of Ozark Plateau streams, including water chemistry, hydrology, and temperature. Invertebrate data (2005-2016) and environmental factors collected from 55 wadeable tributaries of three Ozark rivers (Buffalo River, Arkansas, and Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, Missouri) were analyzed to determine geologic influences on invertebrate community structure and integrity. Additional local/regional environmental factors were examined. Preliminary results indicate major geologic differences between basins appear to influence community structure, but do not appear to determine overall community integrity. Invertebrate community metrics varied among tributaries and between basins with similar values for all three watersheds showing little indication of disturbance. Distinct basin groupings of taxa similarity in relation to geologic differences illustrate potential influences of geology on community structure. Gradual erosion of the Ozarks, inherent in their geology, could potentially influence invertebrate community structure; therefore, long-term monitoring is important for early detection of erosion and anthropogenic influences on the invertebrate community.
Janice A. Hinsey (Primary Presenter/Author), National Park Service (NPS), Heartland Inventory & Monitoring Network (HTLN), Jan_Hinsey@nps.gov;