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SFS Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 23, 2019
11:00 - 12:30

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11:15 - 11:30: / 150 DEF TRAIT-BASED RESPONSE IN AN EFFLUENT-IMPACTED RIVER, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA

5/23/2019  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  150 DEF

TRAIT-BASED RESPONSE IN AN EFFLUENT-IMPACTED RIVER, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA Macroinvertebrate traits are now widely used to investigate the ecological conditions of streams. In this study traits were analysed with a view to identifying signature traits for effluent pollution in an urban river in South Africa. Macroinvertebrates were sampled seasonally over a period of three years (August 2009 – September 2012) from one upstream control site (Site 1) and three downstream sites (Sites 2, 3 and 4). Site 2 was impacted by pollution sources including runoff from road networks. Site 3 was impacted by wastewater effluent discharges as well as diffuses pollution sources, while Site 4 was about 2.5 km downstream of Site 3. Selected traits: mobility, body size, body shape, respiration biotope preference, preferred food and feeding habit were analysed. Swimmers and burrowers which were mostly predators were associated with the downstream sites. The three downstream sites were also characterised by aerial breathers. Macroinvertebrates that use gills and tegument for respiration and collector-gatherers, and crawlers decreased significantly at the downstream impacted sites. Overall, the signature traits included, air-breathing, swimming, filter feeding and crawling, all of which proved to prove selective response to pollution in the studied river system.

Oghenekaro Nelson Odume (Primary Presenter/Author), Rhodes University, South Africa, odume.nelson@gmail.com;


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11:30 - 11:45: / 150 DEF DEVELOPMENT AND CRITICAL EVALUATION OF A FISH COMMUNITY-BASED INDEX OF BIOTIC INTEGRITY FOR BOREAL PLAINS STREAMS

5/23/2019  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  150 DEF

DEVELOPMENT AND CRITICAL EVALUATION OF A FISH COMMUNITY-BASED INDEX OF BIOTIC INTEGRITY FOR BOREAL PLAINS STREAMS Freshwater ecosystems are vulnerable to anthropogenic influences and multiple stressors, and proper management techniques are required to assess, conserve or restore aquatic health. Biological assessment is a valuable technique for measuring and evaluating the effects of stressors on the ecological condition of water resources. We are developing and critically evaluating a fish-based ecosystem health assessment tool, the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), to assess fish communities, stream, river and watershed health for the Boreal Plain ecozone of Saskatchewan, Canada. Fish and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage data, environmental DNA (eDNA), and various water quality, habitat and land use variables were collected from minimally-disturbed and impaired streams over three years. We evaluated fish community response to known stressors and potential annual variability in IBI methods and results. We found variations in species richness, composition, and abundance between years, which were reflected in IBI scores. Comparing the IBI with benthic macroinvertebrate indices and eDNA analysis over multiple years will help critically evaluate the reliability of IBI-type approaches in this biogeographic region. Our results reinforce the importance of long-term monitoring to decipher trends in natural variation of fish communities from variation created by anthropological stressors.

Kate Prestie (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Saskatchewan, kate.prestie@usask.ca;


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


Dave Janz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, david.janz@usask.ca;


Tim Jardine (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Saskatchewan, tim.jardine@usask.ca;


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11:45 - 12:00: / 150 DEF DETECTING UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCED WATERS IN HEADWATER STREAMS: A CHEMISTRY AND ORGANISMAL APPROACH

5/23/2019  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  150 DEF

DETECTING UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCED WATERS IN HEADWATER STREAMS: A CHEMISTRY AND ORGANISMAL APPROACH Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) (a.k.a. hydraulic fracking) has had a surge in development and production in the past decade, the potential for environmental impact is of concern. Use of large quantities of water in the fracturing process creates flow-back water that is high in dissolved solids, which must be managed. This flow-back water has a high potential to be included in the runoff from UOG wellpads. This has prompted our research into trying to identify methods to reliably measure the impacts of UOG on aquatic populations and stream health. We assessed water chemistry, macroinvertebrates, and fish from 60 UOG impacted and reference sites. Using principle components analysis on the chemistry, no significant correlations with UOG activity were found but, variability was better explained by other land use characteristics: legacy mining, urbanization, and agriculture. Community analysis similarly didn’t show strong correlations with UOG activity. However, analysis of fish condition via hematocrit levels and otolith microchemistry showed significantly different values in UOG when compared to reference streams. Our findings help bring to light issues with UOG detection in headwater streams and give support to new methods of UOG detection.

Kevin Eliason (Primary Presenter/Author), West Virginia University, kme0019@mix.wvu.edu;


Josh Ankeny (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), West Virginia University, jna0010@mix.wvu.edu ;


Eric Merriam (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers , emerriam@mail.wvu.edu ;


Todd Petty (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), West Virginia University, Todd.Petty@mail.wvu.edu ;


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12:00 - 12:15: / 150 DEF RIPARIAN EFFECTS ON ODONATE ASSEMBLAGES IN OZARK SPRING STREAMS

5/23/2019  |   12:00 - 12:15   |  150 DEF

RIPARIAN EFFECTS ON ODONATE ASSEMBLAGES IN OZARK SPRING STREAMS Odonata are often characterized as insensitive to instream water quality but have been shown to respond to structure and composition of aquatic and riparian flora. We are interested in how odonate assemblages respond to riparian structure and whether odonate surveys will be an effective way to characterize human impact on natural riparian zones. We surveyed odonates in twelve Ozark spring streams with variable riparian degradation during three field seasons to account for phenological differences. We collected nymphs, exuviae and breeding adults to justify species residency (using springs to complete a life cycle) versus temporary occupancy (for example scouting potential breeding sites or using springs as feeding grounds). Data analysis is ongoing, including ordination approaches and occupancy modeling on a total of 18 resident species, and preliminary results using non-metric multidimensional scaling suggest odonate assemblages are significantly correlated with riparian structure. Each spring has a unique assemblage structure, including strong associations with either degraded or natural riparian zones. Only one species (Calopteryx maculata) is present across the full habitat gradient. Residency of sensitive species like Cordulegaster obliqua which occurred only in natural riparian sites, should inform management decisions concerning Ozark springs.

Cameron Cheri (Primary Presenter/Author), Missouri State University, cameron.r.cheri@gmail.com;


Debra Finn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Missouri State University, dfinn@missouristate.edu;


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12:15 - 12:30: / 150 DEF SYNTHESIS OF A NATIONAL MULTI-METRIC DIATOM INDEX

5/23/2019  |   12:15 - 12:30   |  150 DEF

SYNTHESIS OF A NATIONAL MULTI-METRIC DIATOM INDEX Multimetric indices (MMIs) are widely used for biological assessment of fish and aquatic invertebrates because they can be strong measures of anthropogenic stress. MMIs are also used in bioassessment of diatoms, particularly in the European Union. In the U.S. however, MMIs for diatoms have had limited use in federal surveys by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey. We know taxonomic inconsistency across analysts is problematic for diatom species identification. MMIs, however, have been assumed to be robust to inconsistent taxonomic identifications. We are building a national MMI and want to determine if metrics have differing sensitivities to analyst bias. We applied a diatom traits table of 70 metrics to approximately 900 reference sites and compared raw species data to a subset corrected for analyst bias. We found diatom traits fall into three groups: 1) immune, 2) slightly influenced, or 3) greatly influenced by an “analyst effect”. With this information we can construct an MMI based on traits minimally influenced by analyst bias. We will apply the selected traits to streams across a gradient of urban and agricultural impact to determine traits for inclusion in a national MMI.

Meredith Tyree (Primary Presenter/Author), Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder, meredithtyree@gmail.com;


Nicholas Schulte (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder, nicholas.schulte@colorado.edu;


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


Daren Carlisle (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Geological Survey, dcarlisle@usgs.gov;


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


Amina Pollard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pollard.amina@epa.gov;


Sarah Spaulding (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), U.S. Geological Survey, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder, sarah.spaulding@colorado.edu;


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