EFFECTS OF ACIDIFICATION AND TEMPERATURE ON GROWTH AND LEAF LITTER BREAKDOWN BY CRANEFLY LARVAE (TIPULIDAE)
Acid Mine Drainage from metal and coal mines lowers water quality and negatively affects macroinvertebrate diversity and abundance. Macroinvertebrates like Tipulidae play a key role in the breakdown of leaf litter on streams. Tipulid growth rates and leaf litter breakdown were measured under two pH's, 4.0 and 7.0, and under cold (6-9 °C) and warm (12-15 °C) conditions . Fallen silver maple (Acer saccharinum) leaves were placed into leaf litter bags. Litter bags were placed in each stream channel and allowed 7 days to condition before tipulids were added. Water was acidified daily using sulfuric acid. 60 tipulids were collected from three unimpaired streams and added to stream channels. 15 days later, litter bags were weighed after the tipulids were removed and reweighed. T-tests confirmed that larvae grew more slowly at cold temperatures (N=6, P=0.012, one tailed) and under acidic conditions (N=6, P=0.036, one tailed). However, the rates of breakdown did not differ across treatments. Larvae appeared to be consuming the same amounts of food but growing more slowly under acidic or cold treatments. This may suggest that there are higher metabolic costs under those two conditions.
Tristan Hoffman (Primary Presenter/Author), Ohio University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Kelly Johnson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ohio University, email@example.com;