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SFS Annual Meeting

Monday, June 3, 2024
10:30 - 12:00

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C03 Invertebrates

10:30 - 10:45 | Independence Ballroom C | THE BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION VALUE OF SEDIMENT PONDS CREATED THROUGH AGRI-ENVIRONMENT SCHEMES.

6/03/2024  |   10:30 - 10:45   |  Independence Ballroom C

THE BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION VALUE OF SEDIMENT PONDS CREATED THROUGH AGRI-ENVIRONMENT SCHEMES. Agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of biodiversity losses globally, impacting both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In the UK, agriculture covers ~ 70% of land which has led to the loss and homogenisation of natural habitats at different spatial scales. This is most evident for ponds and small lentic waterbodies, with some estimates suggesting that up to a third of ponds have been lost between 1880 - 2000. Despite pond losses, pond ecosystems are widely acknowledged as being one the most abundant and biodiverse aquatic habitats at a regional scale and support the greatest number of rare / endangered taxa. However, many ponds located on agricultural land have limited or no protection resulting in the development of the Agri-Environment Scheme (AES). AES provides financial payments to farmers to encourage sustainable farming methods, promote biodiversity gains, and to conserve unique habitats. One option available to landowners is the creation or restoration of ponds including sediment ponds. The primary purpose of sediment ponds is to store excess sediment and nutrients from soil erosion that would otherwise be transported and subsequently deposited into riverine ecosystems. Whilst sediment ponds are effective in retaining sediment, to date limited ecological data has been collected in relation to their wider biodiversity or conservation value. Preliminary results show that the biodiversity and conservation value of sediment ponds is extremely variable both at a local and regional scale which is highly influenced by abiotic characteristics as well as engagement with stakeholders.

Charlie Patel (Primary Presenter/Author), Loughborough University, c.patel2@lboro.ac.uk;

Paul Wood (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loughborough University, UK, p.j.wood@lboro.ac.uk;

Jessica Durkota (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment Agency, jessica.durkota@environment-agency.gov.uk;

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

Kate Mathers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loughborough University, k.mathers@lboro.ac.uk;

10:45 - 11:00 | Independence Ballroom C | CRAFTING CADDISFLY CONNECTIONS: THE CREATE-A-CADDISFLY PROGRAM

6/03/2024  |   10:45 - 11:00   |  Independence Ballroom C

Crafting Caddisfly Connections: The Create-a-Caddisfly Program This presentation will take participants through the development of a comprehensive elementary-level education program centered around a common local freshwater critter – the Case-Building Caddisfly! Fairfax County, VA, Watershed Education and Outreach (WEO) freshwater ecologists have a goal to bring awareness to residents of their connection to their local stream ecosystem. The Create-a-Caddisfly program was developed to help link our younger residents to aquatic life commonly found in Fairfax County streams. This hands-on, arts and crafts program is guided by staff to engage children in constructing a caddisfly larva and case from common household items to create a tangible connection to the subject matter. The program has since evolved to include an educational video and tutorial, and a DIY at-home document to increase accessibility for more diverse learning environments. To further broaden our reach, we created ‘make and take’ kits for libraries requesting program assistance. The most recent addition to our caddisfly educational initiative is the development of our upcoming children’s book, The Three Little Caddisflies, featuring case-building caddisfly larvae as our endearing main characters. This layered approach creates a differentiated learning experience for students and a holistic understanding of the subject. This presentation aims to share insights into the strategic development and implementation of a multilayered education program emphasizing adaptability, inclusivity, and the transformative potential of hands-on learning experiences for elementary-level students. All participants will leave with materials to create their very own caddisfly!

Eric Collins (Primary Presenter/Author), Fairfax County Government, eric.collins@fairfaxcounty.gov;

11:00 - 11:15 | Independence Ballroom C | DELIVERING MEANINGFUL, LOCAL, AND ACCESSIBLE WATERSHED EDUCATION THROUGH A WATERSHED ON WHEELS!

6/03/2024  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  Independence Ballroom C

Delivering Meaningful, Local, and Accessible Watershed Education Through a Watershed on Wheels! To better serve students and communities facing barriers to watershed and environmental education, Stroud Water Research Center created a Watershed Education Mobile Lab that puts an accessible, transportable, and innovative solution on wheels. Outfitted with water quality monitoring equipment and bilingual Spanish/English instructional supplies, a box trailer and education staff can deliver freshwater-focused experiences at schoolyards, local parks, community centers, and more. Immersive, culturally responsive lessons encourage audiences of all ages to enact positive change in their local watershed. This session will describe how the Watershed Education Mobile Lab has helped the Stroud Center reach new, expanding, and diverse audiences.

Steve Mohapp (Primary Presenter/Author), Stroud Water Research Center, smohapp@stroudcenter.org;

11:15 - 11:30 | Independence Ballroom C | CHARACTERISING UK-WIDE ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO RIVER RESTORATION

6/03/2024  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  Independence Ballroom C

Characterising UK-wide Ecological Responses to River Restoration Many river restoration projects to date have not considered the long-term implications of restoration on wider ecosystem functioning. This potentially hinders our understanding regarding the ecological benefits and long-term sustainability of such projects. For restoration schemes to deliver environmental benefits to the entire ecosystem, ecological responses to such projects need to be examined over a range of time frames. This paper examines the ecological responses of multiple restoration projects in the UK as part of a national scale analysis examining secondary macroinvertebrate data from sites where river restoration has historically taken place. The case studies analysed spanned a range of spatial scales and environmental contexts. Where possible, Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) designs were used within this research to measure ecological responses to different restoration techniques over varying temporal and spatial scales using biomonitoring indices. River restoration projects were examined independently and combined to identify site specific and generalizable outcomes from multiple projects. This paper seeks to inform our understanding of how macroinvertebrate communities respond to restoration practices and whether restoration outcomes can still be detected in the long term.

Molly Bridger (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loughborough University, m.bridger@lboro.ac.uk;

Kate Mathers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loughborough University, k.mathers@lboro.ac.uk;

James White (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Birmingham, j.c.white.1@bham.ac.uk;

Judy England (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment Agency, judy.england@environment-agency.gov.uk;

Marc Naura (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), River Restoration Centre, marc.j.naura@cranfield.ac.uk;

David Hannah (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Birmingham, UK, D.M.HANNAH@bham.ac.uk;

Paul Wood (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loughborough University, UK, p.j.wood@lboro.ac.uk;

11:30 - 11:45 | Independence Ballroom C | TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EPT DIVERSITY AND FEEDING GROUP COMPOSITION IN URBAN AND RURAL WATERS OF CAUCA BASIN, COLOMBIA.

6/03/2024  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  Independence Ballroom C

Temporal and spatial comparative analysis of EPT diversity and feeding group composition in urban and rural waters of Cauca Basin, Colombia. In the face of insufficient prior research, our study addresses a critical gap by investigating the impacts of land use changes and habitat degradation on the spatial and temporal richness patterns of macroinvertebrate sensitive orders EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera) and functional groups in the middle and lower Cauca basin, Colombia. Drawing from four years of comprehensive data (2019-2022) derived from an ongoing dam monitoring program and in-situ habitat characterization, we present an extensive analysis. Employing an adapted version of the Corine Land Cover methodology for Colombia, alongside considerations of water usage and reach-scale anthropogenic disturbance, we categorized sites as rural or urban. Our examination encompasses various assemblage structure variables across, number of taxa, EPT richness, taxa, total density, Shannon-Wiener Index (H’), evenness, percentage of collectors-filterers, percentage of predators, and percentage of shredders. The outcomes of our investigation reveal higher EPT richness values in rural water systems compared to urban counterparts. Notably, the peak taxonomic richness occurred during the period spanning 2020 to 2021. These findings underscore a distinct ecological diversity between rural and urban environments, shedding light on the intricate interplay between land use changes, habitat degradation, and freshwater macroinvertebrate communities in the Cauca basin.

Alejandra Correa-Bedoya (Primary Presenter/Author,Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Universidad de Antioquia, bioaleja0508@gmail.com;

Fernando J Muñoz-Quesada (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Professor, trichoptera@colombia.com ;

11:45 - 12:00 | Independence Ballroom C | BENTHIC AQUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATE RESPONSE TO A CATASTROPHIC FLOOD IN AN ARID HIGHLAND STREAM, AZ, USA

6/03/2024  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  Independence Ballroom C

Benthic Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Response to a Catastrophic Flood in an Arid Highland Stream, AZ, USA Disturbance is a critical part of a stream’s natural flow regime. Pulse disturbances, specifically floods, shape both the stream’s abiotic characteristics and its biotic communities. In arid canyon creeks, large, naturally occurring floods can be difficult to predict, so case studies on their effects are relatively sparse. In August 2021, a catastrophic 900 cubic meter per second flood swept through Sycamore Creek within the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness in central Arizona, US, altering the channel morphology, toppling riparian trees, and depositing large amounts of woody debris into the creek. This flood event provided a unique opportunity to compare pre- and post- flood disturbance benthic aquatic macroinvertebrate communities (BAMC), since we had sampled the creek in the spring before the flood. BAMCs were subsequently sampled three times after the flood in fall 2021, spring 2022, and fall 2022. During each sampling event, two reaches in Sycamore Creek were sampled, with sample replicates collected from both pool and riffle habitats. Physical stream characteristics, including water velocity, depth, substrate size, water chemistry, and canopy cover were recorded at each habitat. Our goal is to investigate how the stream’s physical characteristics and BAMCs compare before and after the flood, as well as the response of specific populations to the flood. Indicator species analysis, nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordinations, and perMANOVA will be used to compare communities. By investigating the effects of flood disturbances on aquatic communities, we aim to contribute to the broader understanding of how disturbance and the natural flow regime impact biotic communities.

Aaron Klarenbach (Primary Presenter/Author), Oregon State University, klarenba@oregonstate.edu;

David Lytle (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Oregon State University, David.Lytle@oregonstate.edu;