Back to top

SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

<< Back to Posters


Functional traits, or phenotypic traits that influence an organism’s performance in a particular environment, can be used to understand and predict how environmental changes can restructure local communities. Trait-based community analysis links traits with environmental variables to identify ecological mechanisms underlying community response to stressors. While the effect of urban stressors on the composition and diversity of macroinvertebrate species is well documented, relatively few studies have assessed how macroinvertebrate traits respond to urban stressors. We employed RLQ and 4th corner methods to analyze functional trait characteristics of macroinvertebrate assemblages surveyed as part of a multi-faceted research effort investigating physical, chemical, biological, and thermal characteristics of streams on a forested-urban gradient throughout the Piedmont region of North Carolina. To perform these analyses, we identified 6 traits of 50 insect taxa found across 20 sites (10 forested, 10 urban). Initial results indicate a significant relationship between traits and environment (global RLQ, P < 0.05), and that catchment-level environmental variables (including soil erodibility and proportion forested) are significantly related to trait syndromes.

Christy Violin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, USA,;

Brooke Hassett (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Duke University,;

Elizabeth Sudduth (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Georgia Gwinnett College,;

Kayleigh Somers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,;

Dean Urban (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Duke University,;

Emily Bernhardt (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Duke University,;

Sarah Lee (Primary Presenter/Author), DePauw University,;