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SFS Annual Meeting

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COMPARISON OF MACROINVERTEBRATE BIOINDICATORS TO ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION ACROSS A GRADIENT OF AGRICULTURAL IMPAIRMENT

The ability to assess stream health efficiently and accurately is vital for predicting the impact of land use on aquatic systems. Historically, this has been done using structural attributes such the composition of the resident macroinvertebrate community. However, there has been increased interest in incorporating functional attributes like stream metabolism and nutrient uptake into assessment programs. For this study, we simultaneously assessed macroinvertebrate community composition and ecosystem function along a gradient of agriculture impact (n=19) in central Pennsylvania, with varying intensities of agriculture within the catchment area. The Functional parameters included extracellular enzymes, ecosystem metabolism, and nitrogen and phosphorous uptake. We collected macroinvertebrates through kick netting, and then quantified steam health using a calculated index of biotic integrity (IBI). Findings indicate that both ecosystem function and macroinvertebrates reflect similar impairment to land alterations from agriculture. For example, there appears to be a strong inverse relationship between fluctuations in diel oxygen obtained from stream metabolism data and biotic indexes as well as abundance of sensitive taxa. These findings could have major implications for improving stream health assessment and understanding the complex relationship of ecosystem functions and community composition.

Corey Conville (Primary Presenter/Author), Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania , cjc37025@gmail.com;


Steven Rier (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Bloomsburg University, srier@bloomu.edu;


Aaron Gordon-Weaver (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Bloomsburg University, amg43366@huskies.bloomu.edu;


Jennifer Soohy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Bloomsburg University, jat18435@huskies.bloomu.edu;