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SFS Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 23, 2019
14:00 - 15:30

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14:00 - 14:15: / 150 DEF QUANTIFYING STREAM PERIPHYTON COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO NUTRIENT AMENDMENTS USING A MOLECULAR APPROACH

5/23/2019  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  150 DEF

QUANTIFYING STREAM PERIPHYTON COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO NUTRIENT AMENDMENTS USING A MOLECULAR APPROACH Biotic condition of streams with respect to nutrient pollution has been evaluated using bioindicators such as macroinvertebrate assemblages or periphyton communities, particularly diatoms. Molecular approaches have shown promise for this application, potentially because periphyton are incredibly diverse. To develop this further, we examined prokaryote and eukaryote community composition using 16S rRNA genes and 18S rRNA genes via experiments utilizing nutrient-diffusing substrata deployed in two streams in the southeastern US. Experimental treatments included controls, +N, +P, and +NP. Periphyton differed significantly by stream, date/season, and nutrient treatment, with more consistent community differences among prokaryotes compared to eukaryotes. Stronger nutrient effects were observed in the less nutrient-impacted stream. Combined +NP amendments decreased prokaryote species richness and diversity by 36%. Associations of taxonomic groups with nutrient treatments were evaluated using indicator species analysis and used to compute nutrient indicators. N vs. P effects were not well-resolved by broader community composition, but diatoms were more responsive to P than N. Results are encouraging in the context of existing studies, while also pointing toward further work needed to validate useful and practical molecular-based nutrient response indicators.

Katelyn Houghton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, oim2@cdc.gov;


David Beddick (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, beddick.david@epa.gov;


Joseph James (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, james.joe@epa.gov;


Stephanie Friedman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, friedman.stephanie@epa.gov;


Richard Devereux (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, devereux.richard@epa.gov;


James Hagy (Primary Presenter/Author), US Environmental Protection Agency, hagy.jim@epa.gov;


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14:15 - 14:30: / 150 DEF THE FIRST STATEWIDE STREAM MACROINVERTEBRATE BIOASSESSMENT IN WASHINGTON STATE WITH A RELATIVE RISK AND ATTRIBUTABLE RISK ANALYSIS FOR MULTIPLE STRESSORS

5/23/2019  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  150 DEF

THE FIRST STATEWIDE STREAM MACROINVERTEBRATE BIOASSESSMENT IN WASHINGTON STATE WITH A RELATIVE RISK AND ATTRIBUTABLE RISK ANALYSIS FOR MULTIPLE STRESSORS We report results from the first statewide assessment of biological health in perennial streams in Washington State. Using a probabilistic sampling survey design, we made unbiased estimates of biological condition of macroinvertebrate communities throughout the state based on sites sampled from 2009-2012. Results from randomly sampled sites were classified as either good, fair, poor in comparison with 75 regional reference sites that were sampled concurrently. We determined that approximately 34 percent of stream kilometers assessed were in poor biological condition as measured with a multi-metric index, the Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity. Additionally, we evaluated a variety of chemical and physical habitat stressors known to negatively influence macroinvertebrate communities and determined that poor substrate conditions were the most prevalent, most notably relative bed stability and percent sand/fines. A relative risk/attributable risk analysis suggests that improving physical habitat conditions in streams, most notably a reduction in percent sand/fines, will have the greatest impact for improving biological condition for macroinvertebrate communities. It is estimated that approximately 60% of stream kilometers now classified as in poor biological condition in Washington could be improved by reducing the amount of percent sand/fines in the substrate.

Chad Larson (Primary Presenter/Author), Washington State Department of Ecology, clar461@ecy.wa.gov;


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14:30 - 14:45: / 150 DEF USING CONCEPTS FROM RIVPACS MODELS TO IMPROVE MULTI METRIC INDEX BIOASSESSMENTS

5/23/2019  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  150 DEF

USING CONCEPTS FROM RIVPACS MODELS TO IMPROVE MULTI METRIC INDEX BIOASSESSMENTS Classification systems in ecology are used to understand variability among and within systems. While it’s understood that classification systems will rarely fully describe continuous ecosystems, many classification systems are still widely accepted. In bioassessments classification systems are used to describe assemblages, potential structure and predict changes in composition with increasing degradation. Fish bioassessments that use a multi-metric index approach often classify streams as size and temperature are known factors structuring species composition. RIVPACS bioassessments handle issues with classification by predicting probabilities of a site belonging to any pre-determined site class and multiplying by each observed species occurrence rate. We adapted this technique to five Wisconsin DNR fish-based MMI models by building a predictive model that assigned probabilities of an observed species assemblage belonging to any pre-determined stream assemblage-based class and weighted corresponding MMI score (pMMI). We tested the efficacy of the pMMI against the classification-based MMI (cMMI) by comparing the MMIs to a disturbance model and a network of reference sites. The pMMI out-performed the cMMI with a stronger correlation to disturbance (r = -0.36 to -0.27) and was more precise (sd = 9.3 to 10.5).

Michael Shupryt (Primary Presenter/Author), WI Department of Natural Resources, Michael.Shupryt@wisconsin.gov;


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14:45 - 15:00: / 150 DEF INCORPORATING TRAIT AND METACOMMUNITY THEORY INTO LAKE RESEARCH

5/23/2019  |   14:45 - 15:00   |  150 DEF

INCORPORATING TRAIT AND METACOMMUNITY THEORY INTO LAKE RESEARCH Using metacommunity theory to understand the mechanisms that shape organismal community structure is a promising framework that has been widely applied to ecological research. In lakes, the spatial pattern of phytoplankton assemblages depends on the relative importance of environmental filtering, spatial process, and grazing pressure, but the inclusion of the latter two factors was often overlooked. We combined trait and metacommunity framework to tease apart important factors shaping phytoplankton community in a Chinese shallow lake. Our results indicated that the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton assemblages are mainly determined by environmental factors (7.6±1.3%), followed by spatial processes (4.7±1.0%) and grazing pressure (2.9±0.5%). However, for the nine species traits groups, the relative influences of environmental, grazing and spatial factors were trait dependent, suggesting that different mechanisms were responsible for the community underscoring the potential advantages of traits in water quality assessment. Furthermore, our results indicated that some traits, e.g., large cell size and filamentous, which are predominantly driven by environmental factors, could be excellent candidates as bio-indicators. In general, our findings suggest that combination of metacommunity theory and traits provide a useful framework for assessing the mechanisms underlying metacommunity patterns in lakes.

Naicheng Wu (Primary Presenter/Author), Aarhus University, naichengwu88@gmail.com;


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15:00 - 15:15: / 150 DEF MICROBIAL COMMUNITY AS A BIOMARKER TO REFLECT THE ANTHROPOGENIC LEVEL ON RIVER ECOSYSTEM

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

MICROBIAL COMMUNITY AS A BIOMARKER TO REFLECT THE ANTHROPOGENIC LEVEL ON RIVER ECOSYSTEM Anthropogenic activities (e.g. wastewater discharge and pesticide use) have a great impact on the biotic properties of natural aquatic ecosystems, especially the microbial community. Microbes may also respond to the anthropogenic activities, and thus can potentially be an indicator to reflect the level of anthropogenic activity. Here we integrated flow cytometry, 16S rRNA sequencing and natural organic matter metabolism determination to investigate the microbial biomass, composition, and function in three areas along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance (less-disturbed mountain area, wastewater-discharged urban area, and pesticide-using agricultural area) in a river ecosystem. Multiple statistical methods were used to explore the causal relationships between the changes in environmental factors and the microbial variation. Results showed that anthropogenic activities (wastewater discharge and agricultural fertilizer) facilitated bacterial production, affected the distribution of dominant species, and accelerated the natural organic matter (NOM) metabolic rate of microbes. After screening the factors characterizing the changes in the microbial communities, we found that the concentration of Cyanobacteria could be used as a diagnostic indicator reflecting the nutrient level. Notably, we developed a NOM metabolic index to quantitatively reflect the holistic influence of nutrients and micropollutants.

Yaohui Bai (Primary Presenter/Author), Chinese Academy of Sciences, yhbai@rcees.ac.cn;


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15:15 - 15:30: / 150 DEF BENTHIC ALGAL COMMUNITIES AS BIOLOGICAL MONITORS OF FUNCTIONAL NUTRIENT THRESHOLDS: A CASE STUDY OF AGRICULTURAL STREAMS IN ALBERTA, CANADA

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

BENTHIC ALGAL COMMUNITIES AS BIOLOGICAL MONITORS OF FUNCTIONAL NUTRIENT THRESHOLDS: A CASE STUDY OF AGRICULTURAL STREAMS IN ALBERTA, CANADA Benthic algal communities occupy a key position in stream ecosystems through coupling the abiotic environment with food webs. These diverse, sessile communities also integrate the impacts of human land-use over time, making them excellent biological indicators of the cumulative functional impacts of anthropogenic nutrient loading on stream ecosystem health. Benthic algal responses to human land-use and nutrient loading may differ between ecoregions, such as the Grassland and Parkland regions found in Alberta, Canada. Here, we explore various metrics of threshold responses by benthic algal communities along a nutrient gradient created by 58 agriculturally-impacted streams. Periphyton samplers were deployed in each stream for one month in late-spring and mid-summer, and harvested algae were identified to genus. Ordination and threshold analyses were conducted to develop predictive models of the functional impacts of nutrient loading on these streams and to identify indicator species. Additional research is exploring nutrient limitation and its effects on the algal community through nutrient injections and tracer analyses. The results of this research could inform watershed management programs in Alberta's agricultural region by suggesting nutrient endpoints that maintain aquatic ecosystem function.

Madison Kobryn (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Government of Alberta, madison.kobryn@gov.ab.ca ;


Gregory Piorkowski (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Government of Alberta, greg.piorkowski@gov.ab.ca ;


Suzanne Tank (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alberta, suzanne.tank@ualberta.ca ;


Rolf Vinebrooke (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alberta, rolf@ualberta.ca ;


Nikki van Klaveren (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Alberta, vanklave@ualberta.ca;


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