Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Communities from the Portage River Watershed Headwater Streams (Wood County, Ohio)
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science, v104, n2 (April, 2004), 29-35.
Macroinvertebrate communities in a transect of the Portage River watershed were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed. The emphasis was on identification and community structure of the macroinvertebrate biota resident in its smallest order streams and ditches. Hester-Dendy multi-plate samplers were used to assess the macroinvertebrate communities at 10 sites across the watershed in the summer of 2001. Dominant macroinvertebrates collected at greater than 70% of the sites were: Caenis sp., Stenonema femoratum, Lirceus lineatus, Physella integra 54 species from 11 major taxa were collected overall, with highest diversity in the smallest order tributaries. The central area of the transect yielded lower numbers of species and densities than the eastern or western drainage areas, and Shannon-Wiener Diversity Indices (SDI) illustrate this depressed community structure. Of the study sites, Rader Creek and the South Branch of the Portage were the most diverse, while Bull Creek was the least diverse. As was predicted from the physical appearance of the majority of the sites, the Portage River watershed macroinvertebrate communities were both depauperate and trophically simplistic. The Invertebrate Community Index (ICI is the principal assessment tool used by the Ohio EPA to monitor all free-flowing waters in Ohio) of the macroinvertebrate communities’ resident suggest only poor to fair water quality at all locations throughout the summer. The impoverished state of the communities present in what is the most active time of the year suggests that steps to increase the health and complexity of the habitat would offer greater natural services to the watershed and drainage.
Author Institution: University of Findlay
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