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SFS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
11:00 - 12:30

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11:00 - 11:15: / 330 A QUANTITATIVE SAMPLING OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES AND RESPONSE TO ELEVATED SALINITY IN CENTRAL APPALACHIAN COALFIELD STREAMS

5/22/2018  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  330 A

QUANTITATIVE SAMPLING OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES AND RESPONSE TO ELEVATED SALINITY IN CENTRAL APPALACHIAN COALFIELD STREAMS Anthropogenic salinization of freshwater is a global concern. In freshwater environments, elevated levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) and specific conductance (SC) can cause adverse effects on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem structure. In central Appalachia, eastern USA, studies have largely relied on Rapid Bioassessment Protocols based on semi-quantitative sampling to characterize benthic macroinvertebrate community response to increased salinity caused by surface coal mining. These protocols require subsampling procedures and identification of a fixed number of individuals regardless of sample density, limiting measures of community structure including taxon richness, diversity, dominance, and detection of rare taxa. Quantitative sampling involves enumeration of all individuals collected within a defined area, allowing expanded characterization of the benthic community. Working in headwater streams of central Appalachia, we compared semi-quantitative and quantitative sampling methods to characterize benthic macroinvertebrate community response to elevated salinity. Additional analyses including identification of taxon-specific extirpation thresholds and critical SC values, estimates of population size, and effect of population density will be presented. Results of this research will improve ability to assess biotic condition in streams subjected to salt pollution and provide guidance for water resource management in Appalachia and beyond.

Rachel Pence (Primary Presenter/Author), Virginia Tech, pencera@vt.edu;


Stephen Schoenholtz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, schoenhs@vt.edu;


Carl Zipper (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, czip@vt.edu;


David Soucek (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Illinois Natural History Survey, soucek@illinois.edu;


Daniel McLaughlin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Tech, mclaugd@vt.edu;


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11:15 - 11:30: / 330 A SASKATCHEWAN CONDITION ASSESSMENT OF LOTIC ECOSYSTEMS (SCALE): A MULTIVARIATE TOOL FOR ASSESSING THE INTEGRITY OF NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS WADEABLE RIVERS

5/22/2018  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  330 A

SASKATCHEWAN CONDITION ASSESSMENT OF LOTIC ECOSYSTEMS (SCALE): A MULTIVARIATE TOOL FOR ASSESSING THE INTEGRITY OF NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS WADEABLE RIVERS Lotic ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains are unique in their expression of anthropogenic perturbation, as reference condition is often characterized by high levels of human activity and traditional biomonitoring metrics of health respond differently than published paradigms (e.g., EPT). This makes rivers and streams in this arid landscape challenging to monitor and set site-specific objectives for. Our current project applies Test Site Analysis which incorporates multivariate and multimetric approaches to predictive modeling. Test sites known to be highly stressed were used to screen measures and select metrics that are sensitive to further changes in biotic condition. Traditional metrics of human stress such as EPT respond differently than in other regions, often responding positively to human activity. In addition, we have had success in applying non-conventional metrics such as forensic stable isotopes, trait-based metrics, and oft-overlooked assemblages (e.g., amphipods) that allow higher accuracy and precision in assessment. Ultimately, these metrics are able to differentiate communities from sites with oil pollution, reservoirs, crop-dominated watersheds, and waste-water effluent from best available reference condition and will be used as diagnostic aids in making aquatic health management decisions in Saskatchewan’s Northern Great Plains.

Iain Phillips (Primary Presenter/Author), Troutreach Saskatchewan/ Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan, iain.phillips@wsask.ca;


Michelle Bowman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Ontario Institute of Technology, michelle.f.bowman@gmail.com;


Doug Chivers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, doug.chivers@usask.ca;


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11:30 - 11:45: / 330 A DIATOMS OF NORTH AMERICA: AN AUTHORITATIVE FLORA FOR TAXONOMISTS AND ECOLOGISTS

5/22/2018  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  330 A

DIATOMS OF NORTH AMERICA: AN AUTHORITATIVE FLORA FOR TAXONOMISTS AND ECOLOGISTS In 2010, the Diatoms of the United States was launched as an online flora documenting a handful of diatom genera and species. Since then, the website has grown to include over 150 genera and 860 species. It is a collaborative effort, with over 70 contributors (students, taxonomists, systematists) who provide content, with development and peer-review guided by an Editorial Review Board. Version 2 was completed in 2018, with design based on feedback from practitioners. The resource is gaining strength as the authoritative tool for consistent and correct diatom identification. Version 2 includes novel features such as filtering tools to select taxa by size and striae count. A list of names (and concept references) are included from the USGS BioData list. A revised "compare" section allows users to examine size and morphologic range of similar species. The project is a successful part of student training through the Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms field course at Iowa Lakeside Lab. For example, a number of taxon pages created by students have each received over 4000 visits. The website will next become the cornerstone for establishment of a taxonomic certification program for diatoms.

Sarah Spaulding (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Colorado, sarah.spaulding@colorado.edu;


Ian Bishop (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Rhode Island, ian.w.bishop@colorado.edu;


Sylvia Lee (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. EPA, lee.sylvia@epa.gov;


Mark Edlund (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), St. Croix Watershed Research Station, mbedlund@smm.org;


Marina Potapova (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, mp895@drexel.edu;


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11:45 - 12:00: / 330 A CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: A VISION FOR MORE EFFECTIVE USE OF BIOLOGICAL DATA IN WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

5/22/2018  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  330 A

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: A VISION FOR MORE EFFECTIVE USE OF BIOLOGICAL DATA IN WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT The expanding use of biological indicators over the past two decades was fueled by the promise that they would support more meaningful assessments of waterbody health. Significant progress has been made to ensure that bioassessment data are objective, reliable and repeatable, but much still needs to be done to fully realize the benefits that could accrue from shifting focus to biological indicators. In California, large investments in bioassessment infrastructure have given water resource managers an array of tools to reliably quantify the condition of multiple assemblages and waterbody types. However, most managers in the state are still learning how to use this information and need tools that will help them detect and interpret patterns in the biological data in the context of local and regional factors (e.g., chemistry, habitat, flow alteration, landuse). California is now focused on developing two new types of technical tools: 1) response models that set management targets for stressors (e.g., nutrients, hydromodification, physical habitat alteration) that will protect biological integrity and 2) landscape and spatial network models that provide context and encourage practitioners to look beyond reaches and consider patterns in condition occurring across larger regions.

Peter Ode (Primary Presenter/Author), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Peter.Ode@wildlife.ca.gov;


Raphael Mazor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, raphaelm@sccwrp.org;


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12:00 - 12:15: / 330 A SUPPORTING MANAGEMENT DECISIONS WITH A LANDSCAPE MODEL TO PREDICT BIOTIC CONDITION IN CA

5/22/2018  |   12:00 - 12:15   |  330 A

SUPPORTING MANAGEMENT DECISIONS WITH A LANDSCAPE MODEL TO PREDICT BIOTIC CONDITION IN CA California is developing a Biological Stimulatory/Integrity policy for streams. As part of this effort, the state is exploring methods of identifying streams where integrity may be constrained by development in the watershed, as well as streams where biological condition is likely to be good. To support these aims, the state has developed a landscape model that predicts a range of likely scores for a bioassessment index based on watershed characteristics (e.g., land cover, road density, dams). Streams where the range of predicted scores falls below a defined biotic threshold are considered “likely constrained”, and streams where the predicted range is above this threshold are considered “likely unconstrained.” Using visualization tools based on this model, a group of stakeholders from the San Gabriel River watershed prioritized different areas for different management actions. This model provided context to identify a few under-performing regions (in both developed and undeveloped areas) from a dauntingly large number of low-scoring sites. It could also identify regions where protective measures or additional monitoring are needed. Landscape models can help resource managers set goals that are appropriate for the constraints of their region.

Marcus Beck (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, marcusb@sccwrp.org;


Peter Ode (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Peter.Ode@wildlife.ca.gov;


Scott Johnson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Aquatic Bioassay & Consulting, Inc., scott@aquabio.org;


Karin Wisenbaker (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Aquatic Bioassay Labs, Inc, karin@aquaticbioassay.com;


Joshua Westfall (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Los Angeles County Sanitation District, jwestfall@lacsd.org;


Philip Markle (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Los Angeles County Sanitation District, PMarkle@lacsd.org;


Raphael Mazor (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, raphaelm@sccwrp.org;


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12:15 - 12:30: / 330 A BUILDING LINKS BETWEEN BIOMONITORING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION DECISIONS IN THE UPPER TANA RIVER WATERSHED IN KENYA

5/22/2018  |   12:15 - 12:30   |  330 A

BUILDING LINKS BETWEEN BIOMONITORING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION DECISIONS IN THE UPPER TANA RIVER WATERSHED IN KENYA In Kenya and the African Continent as a whole, there have been numerous efforts to monitor and assess environmental conditions using biometric indices. However, the development and application of these indices has been slow to occur, a situation attributed to the complexity in calculating and interpreting indices. This makes them unusable by non-experts who are often key stakeholders in conservation decisions. A pilot study to develop and use the USEPA’s Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) in the Upper Tana River watershed showed that the BCG has built-in utilities including simplicity, versatility and its robust nature, which can be applied to monitor, assess and communicate habitat condition. In this study, BCG models were developed for both aquatic and terrestrial taxonomic groups of macroinvertebrates, fish, amphibians, birds and plants borrowing relevant attributes from the original BCG for each. Preliminary findings showed that macroinvertebrates and birds complement each other, with each taxonomic group reliably assessing habitat condition. We continue to explore emerging bioassessment methods and approaches that can effectually describe water and landscape condition, identifying high quality habitats for protection, directing investment for restoration and tracking conservation progress.

George Ndiritu (Primary Presenter/Author), Karatina University, Kenya, gatereg@yahoo.com;


Peter Njoroge (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, pnjoroge@museums.or.ke;


Edward Njagi (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, enmukuru@gmail.com;


Taita Terer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, taaita@yahoo.com;


Patrick Malonza (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, kmalonza@museums.or.ke;


Gilbert Kosgei (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, 2kipscham@gmail.com;


David Courtemanch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Nature Conservancy, Maine, USA, david.courtemanch@tnc.org;


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