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SFS Annual Meeting

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STREAM MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES FROM AN URBANIZED WATERSHED: A MULTI-YEAR STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT

Urbanization has led to the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems worldwide. In Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, cumulative impacts from industrial effluents, combined sewer overflows and habitat destruction have significantly impacted its central watershed, the Mill Creek Watershed. Efforts are underway to improve stream quality; however, baseline data are still needed to understand current conditions and assess future improvements. The main objective of this study was to evaluate habitat quality and macroinvertebrate community structure and function throughout the Mill Creek Watershed overtime. Nine stream sites were surveyed over 4 years (2014-2018). To assess habitat, the Ohio Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index was conducted at each site. To assess macroinvertebrates, quantitative and qualitative samples were collected from riffles and all macrohabitats, respectively. Preliminary results indicate that habitat and macroinvertebrate communities were variable across the watershed, with evidence of degradation still present at some locations. Habitat quality generally improved from downstream to upstream with little variation overtime. Structural and functional macroinvertebrate metrics indicate high spatial and low temporal variability, both within and among stream sites. This study will provide necessary data for future monitoring, management and restoration efforts within the Mill Creek Watershed.

Sophie Racey (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University, sracey@iu.edu;


Mollie McIntosh (Primary Presenter/Author), Xavier University, mcintoshm2@xavier.edu;