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SFS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, June 4, 2024
15:00 - 16:30

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S02 Ecology and Taxonomy of Chironomidae (Diptera): A Memorial Session to Honor Leonard C. Ferrington, Jr.

15:30 - 15:45 | Independence Ballroom B | THE IMPORTANCE OF BUGS BELOW ZERO – A SUMMARY OF TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF WINTER RESEARCH IN GROUNDWATER-DOMINATED TROUT STREAMS

6/04/2024  |   15:30 - 15:45   |  Independence Ballroom B

THE IMPORTANCE OF BUGS BELOW ZERO – A SUMMARY OF TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF WINTER RESEARCH IN GROUNDWATER-DOMINATED TROUT STREAMS Groundwater-fed streams, which do not predictably freeze during winter in temperate climates, are home to specialized communities of aquatic insects that grow, develop, and emerge from the water during the harsh winter season. Studies of these winter-active communities, however, are underrepresented in the literature due to a bias that favors field research during warmer seasons. Len Ferrington recognized this research gap and devoted much of his work to learning the winter dynamics of Chironomidae and other aquatic insects. This talk will review the approximately 25 years of winter research completed by Len and those that worked with him, focusing largely on the fly family Chironomidae. Topics include diversity, growth and development, cold hardiness, longevity, and the critical role winter-active insects play in winter food webs. We stress both the importance of continued research in these areas and the need to increase general awareness of cold-adapted aquatic insect species, especially considering uncertain consequences associated with climate change.

Alyssa Anderson (Primary Presenter/Author), Southwest Minnesota State University, alyssa.anderson@smsu.edu;

Hannah Bodmer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Toronto Mississauga, hannah.bodmer@mail.utoronto.ca;

Will Bouchard (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and University of Minnesota, bouc0048@umn.edu;

Tessa Durnin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Normandeau Associates, Inc., tdurnin@normandeau.com;

Corrie Nyquist (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Lund University, corrie.nyquist@biol.lu.se;

Bruce Vondracek (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, bvondrac@umn.edu;

15:45 - 16:00 | Independence Ballroom B | BUGS BELOW ZERO: COMMUNICATING SCIENCE AND ENGAGING THE PUBLIC WITH WINTER ACTIVE AQUATIC INSECTS AND STREAM FOOD WEBS

6/04/2024  |   15:45 - 16:00   |  Independence Ballroom B

BUGS BELOW ZERO: COMMUNICATING SCIENCE AND ENGAGING THE PUBLIC WITH WINTER ACTIVE AQUATIC INSECTS AND STREAM FOOD WEBS Participatory science programs can help increase engagement in freshwater stewardship while offering volunteers the opportunity to be involved in hands-on scientific data collection. Programs that combine outreach, education, and community science activities are especially important for topics and issues with little public awareness. This presentation shares details about the Bugs Below Zero project, a grant-supported effort to raise awareness of winter-active aquatic insects and their important role in stream food webs. Bugs Below Zero combines classroom resources, educational events, digital tools, and a participatory science effort, available via the Anecdata digital platform. The project is supported by an interdisciplinary team from the agricultural and environmental sciences, entomology, fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology disciplines. Bugs Below Zero activities are targeted at outdoor recreation enthusiasts, conservationists, nature and environmental education centers, and classrooms from K-12 and higher education institutions. We offer insights from our formative research efforts on the barriers and motivations for participation in community science projects and advice on how to structure public science projects to appeal to both K-12 instructors and higher education faculty. We found that ideal programs provide a sense of collaboration, flexible data collection protocols, and tangible results. Our experience has also identified untapped interest among educators and public audiences in participating in freshwater ecology data collection over the winter, since this season offers limited opportunities for outdoor labs, volunteer programs, and fieldwork.

Corrie Nyquist (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Lund University, corrie.nyquist@biol.lu.se;

Alyssa Anderson (Primary Presenter/Author), Southwest Minnesota State University, alyssa.anderson@smsu.edu;

Rebecca Swenson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota , boli0028@umn.edu;

16:00 - 16:15 | Independence Ballroom B | EXPLORING THE HIDDEN DIVERSITY OF WINTER-EMERGING CHIRONOMIDAE (INSECTA: DIPTERA)

6/04/2024  |   16:00 - 16:15   |  Independence Ballroom B

EXPLORING THE HIDDEN DIVERSITY OF WINTER-EMERGING CHIRONOMIDAE (INSECTA: DIPTERA) Chironomidae are a diverse family of flies found on every continent, including Antarctica. As immatures they occupy streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands and emerge as terrestrial adults. They are biological indicators of water quality and have a species-specific tolerance to pollution and disturbances. At least 5,000 species are described, however, projections estimate 20,000 chironomids when including cryptic and yet to be defined species. Cryptic species are one of two or more biological groups that are morphologically identical to one another, are incapable of interbreeding, and are genetically distinct. Driftless Area groundwater-dominated trout streams of southeastern Minnesota provide perfect habitat for cryptic chironomid diversity. During winter, these streams remain open and ice-free all season long because of constant inputs of relatively warm groundwater (~9°C), providing a stable environment in favor of morphological stasis, making the identification of closely related species difficult. Diamesa mendotae Muttkowski and D. nivoriunda Fitch are two commonly encountered winter-emerging chironomids of the Driftless Area. I used molecular methods to explore genetic diversity of these two winter-emerging flies. Cryptic winter-emerging chironomid identification will help sustain trout habitat conservation, create more accurate freshwater management practices, and advance our knowledge of Dipteran evolution.

Tessa Durnin (Primary Presenter/Author), Normandeau Associates, Inc., tdurnin@normandeau.com;

Amelia Lindsey (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, alindsey@umn.edu;

Leonard C. Ferrington, Jr. (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota, ferri016@umn.edu;

16:15 - 16:30 | Independence Ballroom B | CHIRONOMIDAE (DIPTERA) DISPLAY AGE-DEPENDENT BEHAVIOR PATTERNS ACROSS LIFESPAN

6/04/2024  |   16:15 - 16:30   |  Independence Ballroom B

Chironomidae (Diptera) display age-dependent behavior patterns across lifespan Climate change is a threat to our planet, with the most significant environmental changes predicted to impact temperate winter ecosystems. These ecosystems support a diverse assemblage of freshwater organisms, including many species of cold-adapted, winter-active Chironomidae. Winter-active chironomids are important members of aquatic ecosystems but may be threatened by increasing winter temperatures because of their cold-adaptation. Previous longevity estimates by Dr. Ferrington and the Chironomidae Research Group found adult Diamesa mendotae, a common member of winter stream ecosystems in Minnesota, to have shortened lifespans and reduced reproduction when exposed to high air temperatures. The results of this research indicated chironomid populations may be at risk of extirpation as winter temperatures rise. However, lab-based longevity estimates may not be sufficient to understand how these insects will respond to changing climates. In addition to longevity, understanding chironomid behavior patterns under changing climates may improve our ability to predict whether individuals can survive and reproduce. We determined how D. mendotae behavior patterns changed over time using protocols developed by Dr. Ferrington. We found that D. mendotae behaviors changed with age, and individuals became less mobile as they approached death. The loss of mobility over time suggests that chironomids may not survive natural environmental conditions in the wild even if they do survive to old age in the lab. These results add to our expanding knowledge of Chironomidae, which is key to predicting how climate change will impact aquatic ecosystems.

Leonard C. Ferrington, Jr. (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Minnesota, ferri016-tmp@umn.edu;

Hannah Bodmer (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Toronto Mississauga, hannah.bodmer@mail.utoronto.ca;

Corrie Nyquist (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Lund University, Sweden, nyqui095@alumni.umn.edu;

Bruce Vondracek (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, bvondrac@umn.edu;

16:30 - 16:45 | Independence Ballroom B | SEARCH FOR GENOMIC MARKERS OF COLD TOLERANCE IN DIAMESA PERMACRA (DIPTERA: CHIRONOMIDAE) – AN INHABITANT OF COLD STREAMS

6/04/2024  |   16:30 - 16:45   |  Independence Ballroom B

SEARCH FOR GENOMIC MARKERS OF COLD TOLERANCE IN DIAMESA PERMACRA (DIPTERA: CHIRONOMIDAE) – AN INHABITANT OF COLD STREAMS The genus Diamesa is a good model for studying the regulation of heat shock protein (Hsp) gene expression, cell membrane lipid composition, and protein thermostability. Our study is devoted to the mechanisms of adaptation to conditions of low temperature using Diamesa permacra (Walker, 1856), a moderately cryophilic species whose larvae inhabit cold springs and streams. The population used was from a spring with a stable temperature of 5-10°C near St Petersburg, NW Russia. Previously, D. permacra was shown to have a high expression level of heat shock protein Hsp70 and no induction of hsp70 during heat shock (probably lost due to stable cold conditions). As part of the study, we performed de novo hybrid assembly of the D. permacra genome using long and short reads generated by Mk1C and Hiseq 2500 sequencing platforms, respectively. Prediction of protein-coding genes in the whole genome was performed using the BRAKER pipeline based on larval stage RNA sequencing data. The assembled genome size was 92.7 Mbp, and the BUSCO proteome completeness was 95.2% using the Diptera marker dataset, indicating the high quality of the assembled genome. We tested the hypothesis that some hsp genes in D. permacra could disappear due to living in cold conditions, and we also discovered orphan genes with antifreeze-like structures. It was found that some orthogroups contain fewer hsp’s in D. permacra than in other chironomid species. These results contribute to our understanding of the molecular genetic mechanisms of D. permacra adaptations to low-temperature habitats.

Yanina Drozd (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, drozd.janin@gmail.com;

Andrey Przhiboro (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, Russia, dipteran@mail.ru;

Natalia Gogoleva (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Regulatory Genomics Research Center, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia, negogoleva@gmail.com;

Oleg Gusev (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Regulatory Genomics Research Center, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia, gaijin.ru@gmail.com;

Nurislam Shaikhutdinov (Primary Presenter/Author), Regulatory Genomics Research Center, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia, nurislam.shaikhutdinov@gmail.com;

Elena Shagimardanova (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Regulatory Genomics Research Center, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia, rjuka@mail.ru;