IMPACT OF EXPOSURE TO URBAN DEVELOPMENT ON STONEFLY FUNCTIONAL COMPOSITION AND TAXONOMIC DIVERSITY IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS
Several studies have shown that urban development can increase autochthonous energy input into waterways. First order streams provide a vital habitat for aquatic macroinvertebrates, particularly shredding detritivores, which rely on allochthonous input as their primary energy source. High biodiversity and a range of urbanization make the Southern Appalachian Mountains an ideal location to study the impacts of human development on freshwater fauna. We sampled 32 sites, all first order streams, to determine the effects of development on functional composition and taxonomic diversity of stoneflies (Family: Plecoptera). Environmental parameters were measured at each site to quantify the level of development. We chose to focus on Plecoptera because they represent a large proportion of the shredding detritivores that depend on the autochthonous input from riparian vegetation. Samples were identified to genus and analyzed using linear regression and cluster analyses to determine if any environmental variables are significantly correlated with functional or taxonomic trends.
Briana Cairco (Primary Presenter/Author), Clemson University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
John C. Morse ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clemson University, email@example.com;
Michael Caterino ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clemson University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Kyle Barrett ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clemson University, email@example.com;
Nathan Weaver ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Clemson University, firstname.lastname@example.org;