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SFS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
09:00 - 10:30

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09:00 - 09:15: / 330 A TOP TECHNICAL CHALLENGES TO ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF BIOASSESSMENTS AND BIOCRITERIA

5/22/2018  |   09:00 - 09:15   |  330 A

TOP TECHNICAL CHALLENGES TO ADVANCING DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF BIOASSESSMENTS AND BIOCRITERIA In 2014-2015, a review of the scientific foundations supporting biological assessment and criteria was conducted by the USEPA biological criteria program. This presentation will summarize the results of this review and steps taken since 2015 to address the priority science needs and incorporate recent advances in science to improve the protection and restoration of U.S. waters under the authority of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, the promise of applying the science and tools from the fields of conservation and genomics and working across institutional and political jurisdictions will be addressed.

Susan Jackson (Primary Presenter/Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson.Susank@epa.gov;


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09:15 - 09:30: / 330 A USE OF METAGENOMICS DATA FOR MONITORING: PROMISES AND CHALLENGES

5/22/2018  |   09:15 - 09:30   |  330 A

USE OF METAGENOMICS DATA FOR MONITORING: PROMISES AND CHALLENGES Metagenomics data have the potential for revolutionizing biological assessment. The possible advantages of this data over conventional morphological identifications include a more complete census of organisms at a site and more consistent identifications of obscure taxa, both of which may substantially reduce sampling variability. We report here on analysis of periphyton samples collected from ~400 sites across the United States. At each site, periphyton were sequenced and a conventional diatom sample was identified. Analysis of these data suggest that use of metagenomic data stabilized, but did not reduce variability in community composition over multiple visits. Detailed comparisons between morphological and metagenomic data with regard to responses to environmental gradients were further hindered by a large number of sequences that did not match up with reference sequences in existing databases, which, in turn, resulted in a large number of distinct taxa in the genomic data that could be assigned to broad taxonomic groups.

Lester Yuan (Primary Presenter/Author), Environmental Protection Agency, yuan.lester@epa.gov;


Richard Mitchell (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environmental Protection Agency, mitchell.richard@epa.gov;


Erik Pilgrim (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USEPA/NERL/SED, Cincinnati, OH, pilgrim.erik@epa.gov;


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09:30 - 09:45: / 330 A AN EMERGING BIOMONITORING APPROACH FOR DETECTING CHANGE IN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS

5/22/2018  |   09:30 - 09:45   |  330 A

AN EMERGING BIOMONITORING APPROACH FOR DETECTING CHANGE IN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS Biomonitoring tools that detect and assess change in aquatic environments quickly and reliably are needed. Metabolomics is an emerging approach that has the potential to overcome shortcomings of current biomonitoring approaches. However, metabolomics is not currently recognized by managers as an alternative for biomonitoring. Here we evaluate and review the strengths and weaknesses of metabolomics as a biomonitoring tool and present a case study investigating exposure of benthic macroinvertebrates (BMI) to municipal effluent. To determine the potential of metabolomics as a biomonitoring tool, published metabolomic studies were reviewed and results compared against criteria for an ideal biomonitoring tool. Metabolomics met a majority of the criteria, such as reliability, detection of human impact, and simple sampling methods. Results from the case study show that metabolomics of BMI was able to detect differences between affected and reference sites and the spatial extent of exposure to municipal effluent. Our findings further demonstrate that metabolomics could be immediately adopted as a powerful tool for conducting bioassessments similar to current approaches. However, metabolomics shows even more promise in its ability to detect diagnostic effects of stressors, but more research is needed in this area.

Robert B. Brua (Primary Presenter/Author), Environment and Climate Change Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, bob.brua@canada.ca;


Sarah McKenzie (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Western Ontario, smcken4@uwo.ca;


Joseph M. Culp (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment and Climate Change Canada and Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3C5, joseph.culp@canada.ca;


Adam G. Yates (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Western University & Canadian Rivers Institute, adam.yates@uwo.ca;


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09:45 - 10:00: / 330 A LINKING BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF DIAGNOSTIC BIOTIC INDICES

5/22/2018  |   09:45 - 10:00   |  330 A

LINKING BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF DIAGNOSTIC BIOTIC INDICES The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) introduced a legal obligation for member states to mitigate the factors causing waterbodies to fail to achieve quality targets (“Good” Ecological Status). Hence, efforts have been made to provide methods that can identify the factors causing sites to fail, which includes development of stressor-specific diagnostic indices. We have developed indices based on empirical analysis of extensive field survey data, using partial ordination to account for natural background variation in species distributions and enabling the effects of composite stressor gradients to be assessed (e.g. multiple metals). Whereas some strongly associated stressors (e.g. flow modification/fine sediment) are difficult to disentangle using diagnostic indices, others provide a clearer signal of causality. These indices used in conjunction with spatial models based on land use practice can predict likely stressors acting on a waterbody and the likely biological response to mitigation. Using experimental agricultural catchments varying in hydrological connectivity and land-use, we are now testing these indices by explicitly linking biological and hydrochemical responses to mitigation efforts. Such work will improve our understanding of the effectiveness of mitigation, and the social, economic and biological constraints on achieving WFD targets.

John Iwan Jones (Primary Presenter/Author), Queen Mary University of London, j.i.jones@qmul.ac.uk;


John Murphy (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Queen Mary University of London, j,f,murphy@qmul.ac.uk;


Amanda Arnold (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Queen Mary University of London, a.arnold@qmul.ac.uk;


Chaz Duerdoth (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Queen Mary University of London, c.p.duerdoth@qmul.ac.uk;


James Pretty (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Queen Mary University of London, j.i.pretty@qmul.ac.uk;


Adrian Collins (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Rothamsted Research, adrian.collins@rothamsted.ac.uk;


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10:00 - 10:15: / 330 A ARE TRAITS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR IDENTIFYING STRESSORS AND ESTABLISHING STRESSOR CRITERIA?

5/22/2018  |   10:00 - 10:15   |  330 A

ARE TRAITS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR IDENTIFYING STRESSORS AND ESTABLISHING STRESSOR CRITERIA? Stream ecosystems are subject to multiple stressors such as hydromorphological changes, excessive nutrients and toxicants. Beside natural variation, biotic interactions and migration processes, the co-occurrence of stressors hampers the identification of causes of biological impairment. Stressor-specific biological response relationships are required to derive likely causes of impairment and to identify potential stressor interactions from field monitoring data. Trait-based approaches that rely on the translation of taxonomic community data to trait community data may aid in stressor identification and to develop stressor criteria. I will present results from studies in agricultural streams from different global regions (Central and Northern Europe, Russia, South-East Australia), where trait-based approaches were successfully used to establish stressor-response relationships between toxicants and stream invertebrate communities. In addition, I discuss challenges of trait-based approaches to with respect to stressor-specificity and present some solutions. These comprise improving taxonomic resolution and coverage with metabarcoding, considering trait intercorrelations, establishing relative sensitivity rankings and improving models for stressor interactions. Overall, I suggest that trait-based approaches represent a promising tool to identify and quantify stressor-specific biological responses, though several challenges remain.

Ralf Schäfer (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, schaefer-ralf@uni-landau.de;


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10:15 - 10:30: / 330 A APPLYING OREGON’S SEDIMENT-SPECIFIC STRESSOR INDEX: SCIENTIFIC AND POLICY CHALLENGES

5/22/2018  |   10:15 - 10:30   |  330 A

APPLYING OREGON’S SEDIMENT-SPECIFIC STRESSOR INDEX: SCIENTIFIC AND POLICY CHALLENGES Identifying causes of biological impairment remains a substantial challenge to water quality management programs. To address this need, we developed a stressor-specific index utilizing macroinvertebrate assemblages to identify excess fine sediments in Oregon (USA) streams. We faced various technical challenges including: How to define “fine” sediment? How to set thresholds for an index built without reference populations? How to link the sediment-specific index to an index of biological integrity? While the scientific challenges were difficult, the challenges associated with implementing the index into a policy framework has proven even more so. This was especially true given the lack of numeric water quality standards for both biocriteria and the stressor.

Shannon Hubler (Primary Presenter/Author), Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, hubler.shannon@deq.state.or.us;


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