HUMAN INFLUENCES ON THE RIVER CONTINUUM CONCEPT: ANTHROPOGENIC NUTRIENT SOURCES AND WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT IMPACTS ON BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGE AND PRODUCTIVITY
Wastewater treatment plant effluent is detrimental to water quality and ecosystem functions. This study will evaluate the impacts of effluent on natural water systems as predicted by the River Continuum Concept. Multiple reference and impacted Southern Appalachian river systems with effluent discharges at the headwaters will be sampled from headwaters to mid-reaches for macroinvertebrates, water chemistry, and physical stream habitat parameters. Aquatic insects will be collected by NC-DEQ Qual 4 standard methods at stream sites and will be keyed out to the lowest taxonomic level. This will be used to determine and report stream biotic index, diversity indices, and trophic feeding guild percentages. Water chemistry will be measured using probes, ion chromatography, and Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy. I predict that human development in headwaters of rivers causes significant effects on the assemblage, biodiversity and productivity of a river. Specifically, I hypothesize that watersheds with water treatment plants at the headwater regions will have altered macroinvertebrate assemblage, reduced biodiversity, and increased productivity as well as increased nutrient and toxin concentrations. Preliminary data will be presented at the meeting.
Kelli Park (Primary Presenter/Author), Appalachian State University , email@example.com;