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SFS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
10:30 - 12:00

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C03 Invertebrates

10:30 - 10:45 | Independence Ballroom C | INTRODUCING MACROBLITZ – A PROJECT FOCUSED ON INSPIRING AND EMPOWERING PEOPLE OF ALL BACKGROUNDS TO DOCUMENT AQUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATES USING INATURALIST

6/05/2024  |   10:30 - 10:45   |  Independence Ballroom C

Introducing MacroBlitz – a project focused on inspiring and empowering people of all backgrounds to document aquatic macroinvertebrates using iNaturalist MacroBlitz is a National Geographic funded project focused on inspiring and empowering people of all backgrounds to document aquatic macroinvertebrates using iNaturalist. The goal of MacroBlitz is more science and learning about aquatic macroinvertebrates through public contribution to iNaturalist. The aquatic macroinvertebrate observational data uploaded to iNaturalist results in more science while the MacroBlitz resources, training, and program framework developed for formal and informal educators result in more learning. MacroBlitz resources are freely available through Google classroom to anyone with a gmail account and targeted to high school teachers, faculty of undergraduate courses, environmental educators at nature centers, zoos, aquaria, botanical gardens, and parks, and volunteers such as Master/Volunteer Naturalists. In this talk, MacroBlitz team member Dr. Dalal Hanna shares an overview of the project and provides the resources necessary for listeners to get involved, as well as help learners they work with engage. All it takes it a cell phone and the curiosity to visit a stream. Let’s get more people caring about macroinvertebrates! After all, they are really cool.

Dalal Hanna (Primary Presenter/Author), Carleton University, dalalhanna@cunet.carleton.ca;

Anne Lewis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), South Dakota Discovery Centre, annelewis@sd-discovery.org;

Tanya Sulikowski (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Friends of the NJ school of conservation, tsulikowski@friendsofnjsoc.org;

Peggy Keiner (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Chicago School, peggykeiner@gmail.com ;

Isai Madriz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Independent, Rimadriz1@gmail.com;

Carlos Aztekium Velazco (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Independent, carlos.velazco@gmail.com;

10:45 - 11:00 | Independence Ballroom C | EVALUATING THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES ON AQUATIC INSECT COMMUNITIES IN CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA VERNAL PONDS

6/05/2024  |   10:45 - 11:00   |  Independence Ballroom C

EVALUATING THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES ON AQUATIC INSECT COMMUNITIES IN CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA VERNAL PONDS Vernal ponds are isolated depressional wetlands with a variable hydroperiod that fill with water in the spring and dry out during the summer. As a main contributor of biogeochemical processes, such as leaf-litter decomposition and denitrification, these ponds play an important role in nutrient cycling within forested environments. Vernal pools also provide many other ecological services, particularly in providing essential sites for amphibian and aquatic insect communities due to the lack of established fish populations. The diversity of vernal pond aquatic insects contribute an important role to trophic interactions (as predators and prey) and to nutrient cycling. To improve our understanding of vernal pond aquatic insect communities, we examined patterns in community structure and diversity along with differences in environmental factors, such as hydroperiod, water chemistry and canopy cover across 8 ponds located in Central Pennsylvania, USA. We calculated alpha diversity to assess community structure and local contribution to beta diversity (LCBD) to determine ecologically unique ponds. This research aims to determine how variation in chemical and physical characteristics of vernal ponds and their surrounding environment effect aquatic insect biodiversity. Understanding the impact that vernal pond properties have on aquatic insects will allow for effective and holistic conservation strategies to better understand the factors influencing vernal pond ecosystems.

Mason Ward (Primary Presenter/Author), The Pennsylvania State University, msw5688@psu.edu;

Alice Belskis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, albelskis@gmail.com;

Sara Hermann (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Pennsylvania State University, slh@psu.edu;

Jon Sweetman (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Pennsylvania State University, jfs6745@psu.edu;

11:00 - 11:15 | Independence Ballroom C | INFLUENCE OF TEMPERATURE ON ZOOPLANKTON EMERGENCE FROM RIVERBANK AND FLOODPLAIN SEDIMENTS

6/05/2024  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  Independence Ballroom C

INFLUENCE OF TEMPERATURE ON ZOOPLANKTON EMERGENCE FROM RIVERBANK AND FLOODPLAIN SEDIMENTS Water regulation has altered the timing and magnitude of hydrological connectivity between rivers and their floodplains. This may impact the community dynamics of zooplankton, which persist in these variable environments by depositing diapausing (resting) eggs into sediments, known as the “egg bank’. However, we have limited understanding of how temperature and sediment inundation history affect zooplankton emergence in river-floodplain systems. We sought to assess the importance of inundation timing and extent on zooplankton emergence by experimentally rewetting riverbank and floodplain sediments under average spring (21°C) and winter (10°C) water temperatures. We hypothesized that warmer temperatures would induce faster rates of zooplankton hatching, and that communities emerging from floodplain sediments would be more diverse and abundant compared to riverbank sediments. Surface sediments were collected from the lower Lachlan River, New South Wales, Australia. Sediments were rewetted in temperature-controlled cabinets and emerging zooplankton sampled for six weeks. We found that a higher abundance of zooplankton emerged at warmer temperatures, and that floodplain sediments supported a greater abundance of emerging zooplankton. However, community composition was similar between riverbank and floodplain habitats, perhaps because all collected sediments had been recently inundated by large-scale flooding. Our results suggest that both seasonal timing and extent of inundation are important determinants of zooplankton assemblages. Maintaining lateral connectivity within river-floodplain systems may support high zooplankton abundance with potential flow-on effects for the riverine food web.

Kishor Maharjan (Primary Presenter/Author), Centre for Applied Water Science, University of Canberra, Kishor.Maharjan@canberra.edu.au;

Ross M. Thompson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Centre for Applied Water Science, University of Canberra, ross.thompson@canberra.edu.au;

Darren P. Giling (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Centre for Applied Water Science, University of Canberra, darren.giling@canberra.edu.au;

11:15 - 11:30 | Independence Ballroom C | AN INVENTORY OF FRESHWATER MACROINVERTEBRATE OCCURRENCES IN WEST AFRICA AND THE CONGO BASIN

6/05/2024  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  Independence Ballroom C

AN INVENTORY OF FRESHWATER MACROINVERTEBRATE OCCURRENCES IN WEST AFRICA AND THE CONGO BASIN The West Africa sub-region and the Congo Basin form two of Africa’s eight biodiversity hotspots. Aside from the underreporting and underestimating of freshwater ecosystems in these hotspots, incorrect coordinates and taxonomical inaccuracies pose another major hurdle that may hinder conservation efforts in the sub-regions. It is however crucial for species distribution modelling and conservation initiatives to use datasets that are to the largest possible extent free of spatial and taxonomic errors. To give a more precise account of freshwater invertebrates in West Africa and the Congo Basin, we collated species occurrence records of freshwater invertebrates from the following sources: published articles through PubMed and Google Scholar, personal field surveys, and also through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) database. We then combined and processed these data for taxonomic cleansing using the R package taxize. We then performed a coordinate cleaning to remove occurrences that have duplicate records and those that fall within 1 km from country centroids and capital centroids, as well as biodiversity institutions (e.g., zoos and herbaria). We present the final output of 7,828 occurrences consisting of 3 phyla, 8 classes, 30 orders, and 789 species. These records are considered valid and can be used for modelling the distribution of freshwater macroinvertebrates in these important but understudied freshwater biodiversity hotspots.

Emmanuel Akindele (Primary Presenter/Author), Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany, emmanuel.akindele@igb-berlin.de;

Abiodun Adedapo (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, abiodunadedapooau@gmail.com;

Esther Kowobari (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, damilolaesther450@gmail.com;

Oluwaseun Akinpelu (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria, oluwaseuntemitopeakinpelu;

Sami Domisch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, domisch@igb-berlin.de;

11:30 - 11:45 | Independence Ballroom C | THE GUT MICROBIOME OF JUVENILE FRESHWATER MUSSELS IS INFLUENCED BY HOST DEVELOPMENT MORE THAN ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

6/05/2024  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  Independence Ballroom C

THE GUT MICROBIOME OF JUVENILE FRESHWATER MUSSELS IS INFLUENCED BY HOST DEVELOPMENT MORE THAN ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS Freshwater mussels are endangered fauna that can be impacted by environmental perturbations. The gut microbiome of freshwater mussels varies by locality and environmental conditions, but implications for mussels introduced into new rivers are unclear. Using mussel silos containing hatchery-propagated mussels, the effects of the environment on the freshwater mussel gut microbiome were assessed for two mussel species in two rivers in each of two river basins (Lampsilis ovata in the Tennessee River Basin, Lampsilis ornata in the Mobile River Basin). Juvenile mussels were placed in silos for eight weeks, after which a subset were used for microbiome analysis, a subset remained in silos, and another subset were reciprocally transplanted between rivers in that basin for a further eight weeks. After the initial eight weeks, mussels showed increased gut bacterial species richness and diversity, and distinct community composition compared to hatchery mussels. By 16 weeks, the gut microbiome of mussels remaining in their original river had become less diverse, while diversity metrics for transplanted mussels resembled that of 8-week mussels. By 16 weeks, mussels in silos had gut bacterial communities resembling those of free-living mussels collected from the same location. All mussels showed high proportions of Firmicutes in their gut microbiome, suggesting a developmental dependency of this phyla in the gut of Lampsilis species. These findings highlight the relationship between the environment and gut microbiome development in freshwater mussels, offering valuable insights into their adaptability and conservation strategies.

Stephanie Vaughn (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Mississippi, snvaughn@go.olemiss.edu;

Jamie Bucholz (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alabama, jbucholz@crimson.ua.edu;

Irene Sanchez Gonzalez (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alabama, irene1sanchez@gmail.com;

Garrett Hopper (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Louisiana State University, ghopper@agcenter.lsu.edu;

Paul Johnson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, paul.johnson@dcnr.alabama.gov;

Jeffrey Lozier (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alabama, jlozier@ua.edu;

Carla L. Atkinson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Alabama, clatkinson@ua.edu;

Colin R. Jackson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Mississippi, cjackson@olemiss.edu;

11:45 - 12:00 | Independence Ballroom C | REVISING THE TAXONOMY OF NORTH AMERICAN DICRANOMYIA (INSECTA: DIPTERA: TIPULIDAE: LIMONIIDAE)

6/05/2024  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  Independence Ballroom C

REVISING THE TAXONOMY OF NORTH AMERICAN DICRANOMYIA (INSECTA: DIPTERA: TIPULIDAE: LIMONIIDAE) In 2020, the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility in Reno, Nevada experienced an infestation of crane flies. Specimens were sent to Dr. Jon Gelhaus, curator of the entomology collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (ANSP), who identified them as belonging to a complex of pattern-winged species in the genus Dicranomyia. There is evidence throughout the literature that these taxa have been improperly described, producing synonymous groups that do not represent distinct species. The present study sought to revise the classifications assigned to these species, produce a dichotomous key for diagnosis supplemented with images, and identify the species infesting the water treatment plant. D. defuncta (Osten Sacken, 1860) and D. concinna (Williston, 1893) were synonymized, D. simulans (Walker, 1848) and D. pemetica (Alexander, 1939) were synonymized, and D. venusta (Bergroth, 1888) and D. negligens (Alexander, 1927) were synonymized. D. defuncta was identified as the species infesting the water treatment plant.

Bryan Eichen (Primary Presenter/Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, bryaneichen@gmail.com;

Jon Gelhaus (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, gelhaus@gmail.com;