STREAM BIOASSESSMENT IN THE CLAY-PLAIN REGION OF SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO- OPTIMIZING SAMPLING AND LABORATORY ASSESSMENT METHODS
Macroinvertebrate community composition can effectively indicate stream ecological condition because the taxa present vary in their tolerance to perturbations. The Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Information Network (CABIN), and Ontario Benthic Biomonitoring Network (OBBN) were both developed to assess streams with riffle-pool morphology using a D-frame dip net for field sampling and the Marchant Box for laboratory subsampling. However, these protocols have limited in their ability to effectively assess the condition of southwestern Ontario streams, which are slow-flowing, straight, and have mud or clay substrates. We evaluated sampling with a Petite Ponar grab and laboratory processing using nested sieves as alternatives. Five Clay Plain streams in southwestern Ontario were sampled by kick sampling with a 500-um mesh D-frame net, and with a petite Ponar grab. Samples were sorted using both a Marchant Box and nested sieve subsampling protocols. The D-frame net collected a wider range of taxa than Ponar grabs, and nested sieves subsampled macroinvertebrates more time-effectively and accurately for subsampling than the Marchant Box. We recommend using modified CABIN and OBBN protocols to most effectively assess the ecological condition of these Clay Plain streams.
Alyssa Frazao (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Windsor, email@example.com;
Jan Ciborowski (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Katie Stammler (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Essex Region Conservation Authority, email@example.com;