Event Title

Assessing Salt Stress on Macroinvertebrate Communities in New Hampshire Streams

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Amy Villamagna, Brigid O'Donnell

Location

Hartman Union Building Room 119

Presentation Type

Event

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:50 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 4:05 PM

Abstract

Road salt use in North America has increased dramatically, and future development across New Hampshire (NH) is likely to intensify salt application and runoff into the state’s watersheds. Despite recent attention given to road salt, the impacts on NH streams’ biota are still unclear. The main objective of this study was to assess the degree to which chloride might be impacting macroinvertebrate community composition in ten streams across NH from May - October, 2016. We used a combination of sampling protocols, including the EPA multi-habitat kick net sampling and NH DES rock basket to collect macroinvertebrates and subsequently identified each to family. We examined relationships between chloride and informative macroinvertebrate community metrics, for example the percent of the population comprising sensitive taxa from the orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Tricoptera (% EPT), and analyzed all collected environmental variables potentially affecting macroinvertebrate community composition. Results from linear regression analyses indicate a weak relationship between macroinvertebrate community metrics (family richness, percent species composition, Simpson’s diversity, and indicator species), and observed chloride concentrations (R2 < 0.25), suggesting that other environmental variables, like reach area (R2= 0.249) might better explain observed community composition.

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Apr 28th, 3:50 PM Apr 28th, 4:05 PM

Assessing Salt Stress on Macroinvertebrate Communities in New Hampshire Streams

Hartman Union Building Room 119

Road salt use in North America has increased dramatically, and future development across New Hampshire (NH) is likely to intensify salt application and runoff into the state’s watersheds. Despite recent attention given to road salt, the impacts on NH streams’ biota are still unclear. The main objective of this study was to assess the degree to which chloride might be impacting macroinvertebrate community composition in ten streams across NH from May - October, 2016. We used a combination of sampling protocols, including the EPA multi-habitat kick net sampling and NH DES rock basket to collect macroinvertebrates and subsequently identified each to family. We examined relationships between chloride and informative macroinvertebrate community metrics, for example the percent of the population comprising sensitive taxa from the orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Tricoptera (% EPT), and analyzed all collected environmental variables potentially affecting macroinvertebrate community composition. Results from linear regression analyses indicate a weak relationship between macroinvertebrate community metrics (family richness, percent species composition, Simpson’s diversity, and indicator species), and observed chloride concentrations (R2 < 0.25), suggesting that other environmental variables, like reach area (R2= 0.249) might better explain observed community composition.