Back to top

SFS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 5, 2024
13:30 - 15:00

<< Back to Schedule

C08 Urban Ecology

13:30 - 13:45 | Independence Ballroom A | FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATE RESPONSE TO URBANIZATION: A LARGE SCALE ANALYSIS OF FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY

6/05/2024  |   13:30 - 13:45   |  Independence Ballroom A

Freshwater Invertebrate Response to Urbanization: A Large Scale Analysis of Functional Diversity Increasing urbanization has a profound effect on ecosystems worldwide, and the biological communities found in downstream freshwater ecosystems are no exception. Functional traits are an increasingly popular lens through which to study freshwater macroinvertebrates, as they allow for the potential effects that an organism, or the invertebrate community in general, may have on an environment to be clearly shown. Here, nine functional traits (voltinism, dispersal, drift, respiration, rheophily, size, thermal tolerance, habit, and functional feeding group) were used to characterize freshwater invertebrates sampled at over 300 sites by the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (USA). Community weighted means of these traits were calculated for each site, and analyzed as a function of impervious surface cover in the drainage area. My goal was to address 1) if increasing urbanization causes significant shifts in the community weighted mean traits of freshwater macroinvertebrates in Maryland and 2) if present, what these shifts might show about the urbanizing ecosystem.

Anna Mothersole (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Maryland, Baltimore County, amother1@umbc.edu;

Christopher Swan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Maryland Baltimore County, cmswan@umbc.edu;

13:45 - 14:00 | Independence Ballroom A | IMPACT OF LAND USE CHANGES OVER A PERIOD OF 26 YEARS ON BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE DIVERSITY AND FUNCTION IN PIEDMONT STREAMS IN NORTH CAROLINA

6/05/2024  |   13:45 - 14:00   |  Independence Ballroom A

IMPACT OF LAND USE CHANGES OVER A PERIOD OF 26 YEARS ON BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE DIVERSITY AND FUNCTION IN PIEDMONT STREAMS IN NORTH CAROLINA As impervious cover increases with development, increased stormwater runoff degrades stream channels which negatively impacts stream habitat quality and benthic macroinvertebrate community diversity. Watershed managers respond to urban stream degradation using various restoration techniques; however, most natural channel design approaches do not result in an uplift of the benthic macroinvertebrate community. To better understand the impact of urbanization on benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages, we examined the impact of development, as measured by percent impervious cover, on stream habitat quality and on benthic macroinvertebrate taxa and trait richness and diversity in 15 Piedmont stream in North Carolina over a 26-year period. EPT taxa richness and diversity significantly declined with increases in percent IC. Trait richness and diversity declined with increases in percent IC, but not to the same extent as taxa richness and diversity. Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis (TITAN) identified distinct thresholds of both percent impervious cover and stream habitat quality at which sensitive taxa and traits declined and thresholds at which tolerant taxa and associated traits increased in abundance. Stream habitat condition declined with increases in percent IC which was positively correlated with the R-B Flashiness Index. Several sensitive EPT taxa were found to be indicators of streams with percent IC <10%. Several of the more tolerant EPT taxa were found to be indicators of streams with watersheds with percent IC greater than 25%. Incorporating the results of these results into restoration design may improve the restoration success in achieving biological uplift of an urban stream’s aquatic biota and ecosystem function.

Anthony Roux (Primary Presenter/Author), Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services, Water Quality Program, Charlotte, NC; William States Lee College of Engineering, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Tony.Roux@MecklenburgCountync.gov;

Sandra Clinton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina Charlotte, sclinto1@uncc.edu;

14:00 - 14:15 | Independence Ballroom A | SEASONAL VARIABILITY OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMSBLAGES IN URBAN LANDSCAPES

6/05/2024  |   14:00 - 14:15   |  Independence Ballroom A

SEASONAL VARIABILITY OF BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMSBLAGES IN URBAN LANDSCAPES Beginning in 2016 Fairfax County (VA) began fall benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring at five (5) fixed locations as part of new Phase 1 MS4 regulatory requirements. At the time of implementation, the County was only conducting annual (spring) benthic monitoring. After three years of semi-annual data a trend emerged indicating the fall samples had a mean increase of 19 and 24 points on the family-level Virginia Stream Condition Index (VSCI) and the genus-level Fairfax Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI), respectively. The following study evaluates seasonal differences at long-term trend locations that represent reference conditions among Ecoregions and along the suburban to urban gradient. Results generally indicate that reference sites have a reduced biological quality in the fall, while the opposite occurs in more urban drainages. This study examines the assemblage composition between seasons and attempts to identify correlated water quality shifts that may affect benthic invertebrates.

Chris Ruck (Primary Presenter/Author), Fairfax County (VA), Watershed Assessment Branch, christopher.ruck@fairfaxcounty.gov;

14:15 - 14:30 | Independence Ballroom A | LONG-TERM TRENDS IN STREAM WATER QUALITY IN KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON: ANALYZING 40 YEARS OF CHANGE AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

6/05/2024  |   14:15 - 14:30   |  Independence Ballroom A

Long-term trends in stream water quality in King County, Washington: analyzing 40 years of change and planning for the future For more than 40 years, water quality data has been collected in streams and rivers across King County to document changes driven by infrastructure, land use changes, and regulations. In that time, land use has altered significantly, with more than one million residents moving to the county and the population nearly doubling. To evaluate water quality changes in streams spanning urban to forested watersheds, we used a trend likelihood framework to analyze trends in physicochemical, microbial, and hydrologic conditions over time. The meaningfulness of trends was evaluated by the magnitude of change. Temperature, conductance, and pH were found to be increasing at many sites over time. Despite urbanization, decreases were seen in nutrients and bacteria concentrations. We examine potential drivers for these changes and explore management implications. These results highlight the value of long-term monitoring programs and will be used to make adjustments to plan for future water quality management.

Jeremy Walls (Primary Presenter/Author), King County, Jwalls@kingcounty.gov;

14:30 - 14:45 | Independence Ballroom A | MICROBIAL COMMUNITY DIVERSIFIES WHILE PHYSIOLOGICAL CAPACITY DIMINISHES IN NEWLY CONSTRUCTED STORMWATER BIOSWALES OF SEMI-ARID UTAH, USA

6/05/2024  |   14:30 - 14:45   |  Independence Ballroom A

Microbial community diversifies while physiological capacity diminishes in newly constructed stormwater bioswales of semi-arid Utah, USA Stormwater green infrastructure (SGI) soils often host a diversity of microorganisms whose composition can affect ecosystem processes and contaminant degradation. We report on a rare study examining bacterial diversity upon completion of a 0.4 ha SGI facility in Salt Lake City, USA, comprised of 8 bioswales planted in 4 replicates of two communities: native plants (native) and drought-tolerant ornamental plants common to SGI (optimized). Carbonate rich bioswale soils had mean pH of 7.7. Mean organic matter content was < 7%, with 1% more in the optimized mix (p < 0.001) due to a pre-planting amendment. Soil moisture increased by ~20% in both plant mixes above the 5% baseline upon irrigation. We asked whether bacterial diversity, assessed via quantification of 16S RNA and sequencing, differed over 5 dates ranging from pre-planting through the 1st growing season and if shifts in diversity influenced microbial community characteristics known to affect SGI function. Alpha diversity, measured as the Shannon-Weaver index, increased post planting, but did not differ between plant mixes. Seasonal shifts in microbial community composition also were similar between plant mixes. Increased alpha diversity was most strongly correlated with elevated soil moisture (0.67), and diminished microbial biomass C (-0.91) and N (-0.88) content, rates of hydrolytic ecoenzymes (leucine aminopeptidase: -0.58; alkaline phosphatase: -0.40), and soil inorganic N pools (-0.61). In short, the presence of plants helped to diversify the microbial community, but also may have increased competition for N resources, leading to diminished physiological capacity that could impair the ability to degrade contaminants.

Jennifer Follstad Shah (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Utah, jennifer.shah@envst.utah.edu;

Yvette Hastings (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Montana State University, yvette.hastings@student.montana.edu;

Rose Smith (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Sageland Collaborative, rose@sagelandcollaborative.org;

Ramesh Goel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Utah, ram.goel@utah.edu;