Utilizing Aquatic Macroinvertebrates for Assessing Pre-Mining Stream Conditions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Utilizing Aquatic Macroinvertebrates for Assessing Pre-Mining Stream Conditions


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Title: Utilizing Aquatic Macroinvertebrates for Assessing Pre-Mining Stream Conditions

Utilizing Aquatic Macroinvertebrates for
Assessing Pre-Mining Stream Conditions
Monitoring Mine Drainage Impacts
  • Nicholas Grant
  • Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and

  • Definition of Biomonitoring
  • The systematic use of biological responses to
    evaluate changes in the environment with the
    intent to use this information in a quality
    control program (Rosenberg and Resh 1993)
  • Definition of Bioassessment
  • An evaluation of the condition of a water body
    using biological surveys and other direct
    measurements to the resident biota (Gibson et al.

Advantages Over Chemical Water Quality
Monitoring(Barbor et al. 1999)
  • Holistic approach
  • Biological communities reflect overall ecological
    integrity (chemical, physical, biological)
  • Biological communities intergrate the effects of
    different stressors, thus, providing a broad
    measure of their aggregate impact
  • Biological communities also integrate stresses
    over time
  • Routine biomonitoring can be relatively
    inexepensive, compared to conducting many
    different chemical analyses or toxicity tests
  • Status of biological communities is of direct
    interest to the public and is easier for people
    to understand than water quality measures
  • Biomonitoring is in agreement with the primary
    goal of the Clean Water Act to restore and
    maintain the chemical, physical, and biological
    integrity of the Nations waters

What is a Benthic Macroinvertebrate?
  • Benthic lives in or on the stream substrate
    (cobble, sand, mud, debris, aquatic plants)
  • Macro visible by the naked eye
  • Invertebrate without a backbone insects,
    mollusks, crustaceans, annelids, etc.

Advantages of Benthic Macroinvertebrates(versus
algae or fish)(Voshell 1997)
  • They occur in almost all types of freshwater
    habitats. All sizes, temperatures, substrates,
    chemical conditions, kinds and abundace of
    vegetation and detritus.
  • Many different taxa, and among these taxa there
    is a wide range of sensitivity to all types of
    pollution and environmental stress
  • Mostly sedentary habits so they are likely to be
    exposed to pollution or environmental stress, and
    they do not quickly migrate back into and
    impaired site
  • Duration of their life history is long enough for
    them to be exposed to stressors and for them not
    to recover so quickly that the impairment goes
  • Sampling is relatively simple and does not
    require complicated devices or great effort
  • Taxonomic identification is almost always easy to
    the family level and usually relatively easy to
    the genus level

Sampling Strategies
  • Site Selection
  • Reference Conditions
  • Site-specific Reference
  • Regional Reference
  • Design
  • Targeted vs Probabilistic
  • Single Habitat vs Multi Habitat
  • Simple vs Stratified

Sampling Devices
  • Four Categories
  • Delimit a specific area without a net
  • Delimit a specific area with a catch net
  • Do not delimit a specific area, with a catch net
  • Artificial substrates

Delimit a Specific Area without a Net
  • Stovepipe samplers
  • Grab samplers

Delimit a specific area with a catch net
  • Surber Sampler
  • Hess Sampler
  • Portable Invertebrate Box Sampler (PIBS)

Do not delimit a specific area, with a catch net
  • D-Frame Dip Net
  • Kick net

Artificial substrates
  • Simulated Artificial Substrates (SAS)
  • Representative Artificial Substrate (RAS)

Sorting Samples
  • A tedious and time consuming job
  • In the field
  • In the lab

Identifying Invertebrates
Genus Level vs Family Level
  • Family Level
  • Advantages
  • Requires less training and experience to
  • Fewer misidentifications in data
  • Lab ananlyses requie less time, so results are
    available sooner
  • Stopping at the higher taxonomic level produces
    data with lower variance, so statistical analysis
    are often more revealing
  • Disadvantages
  • Many families contain genera and species with
    greatly different ecological characteristics.
    Thus, data based on falily-level indentifications
    may not provide enough resolution to document
    impaired biological condition, or especially not
    enough resolution to document the cause of

Genus Level vs Family Level
  • Genus Level
  • Advantages
  • Provides more accurate information on ecological
    relationships and, thus, more sensitivity for
    detecting impaired biological conditions and the
    causes of impairment
  • Disadvantages
  • Requires and much higher degree of professional
    training and experience to accomplish
  • Requires a rigorous QA/QC (Quality
    Assurance/Quality Control) program to prevent
    inaccurate data
  • Lab analyses and reports take longer
  • Identifying organisms to the lowest practical
    taxonomic level produces data with higher
    variance, thereby making the interpretation of
    statistical tests more confusing

Taxa Classification
  • Each taxa is assigned three basic descriptive
    values (Habitat, Trophic, and Tolerance)
  • Various states and agencies have developed their
    own Taxa Dictionaries

Taxa Classification
  • Habitat Value (Swimmer, Clinger, Climber,
    Crawler, Sprawler, Burrower) based on the way the
    organism moves or maintains its position within
    its habitat
  • Trophic Value (Shredder, Gatherer, Filterer,
    Scraper, Predator, Macrophyte Piercer,
    Generalist) based on morphological and behavioral
    adaptations for obtaining food

Pollution/Stress Tolerance Value
  • Numerical scores 0-10
  • 0 intolerant to disturbance, pollution, and/or
  • 10 tolerant to disturbance, pollution, and/or
  • Subjective, determine by best available research
  • Can be adjusted to target one specific stressor
    (organic pollution, sedimentation, AMD) if enough
    research is available.

Sensitive Benthos
  • Mayflies (Ephemeroptera)
  • Stoneflies (Plecoptera)
  • Caddisflies (Tricoptera)
  • Dobsonflies and Alderflies (Megoloptera)
  • Water Penny Beetles (Psephenidae)
  • Freshwater Mussels
  • Snipeflies (Athericidae)

Moderately Tolerant Benthos
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata)
  • Crayfish (Decapoda)
  • Amphipods
  • Isopods
  • Craneflies (Tipulidae)
  • Pouch Snails (Physidae)
  • Blackflies (Simulidae)

Pollution Tolerant Benthos
  • Midgeflies (Chironmidae)
  • Aquatic worms (Oligocheata)
  • Leaches (Hirundea)

(No Transcript)
  • Metric Measures Parameters
  • Numerical characterizations
  • In biomonitoring, numerical characterizations
    usually involve structure of communities
    (assemblages), sometimes function
  • Underlying Concepts About Metrics
  • Equilibrium exists between the community and the
    physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the
  • Metrics must reflect this equilibrium
  • Pollution and Environmental Stress (PES) will
    change equilibrium and metrics must change

Commonly Used Metrics
  • EPT index (Structural/Richness)
  • Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Tricoptera the number
    of mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly taxa, most of
    which are sensitive to PES
  • Decreases in response to PES

  • Structural/Balance
  • Percent abundance of larvae and pupae in the true
    fly family Chironomidae
  • Increases in response to PES

Simpson Diversity Index
  • Structural/Balance
  • Integrates richness and evenness into a measure
    of general diversity
  • Ranges from 0-1
  • Decreases in response to PES

Where S number of taxa Pk proportion of
individuals in taxa k
  • Functional/Trophic
  • Abundance of organisms that scrape algae and
    associated material for mineral and organic
    surfaces as a percentage of abundance of all
  • PES can cause a increase or decrease

  • Functional/Habits
  • Abundance of organisms that require clean firm
    substratum as a percentage of abundance of all
    organisms ( Clingers Crawlers)
  • Decreases in response to PES
  • Sedimentation and AMD crusting

Hilsenhoff Biotic Index
  • Structural/Tolerance
  • Weighted sum on the total taxa by pollution
  • Originally developed to address organic pollution
    but can be modified to address many issues
  • Score increases in response to PES

Where xi number of individuals within a
taxon ti tolerance value of a taxon n total
number of organisms in the sample
Water Quality Classifications for the Hilsenhoff
Biotic Index (BI) (Hilsenhoff 1987)
  •  Bi Value Water Quality Degree of Organic
  • 0.00-3.50 Excellent No apparent organic
  • 3.51-4.50 Very Good Slight organic pollution
  • 4.51-5.50 Good Some organic pollution
  • 5.51-6.50 Fair Fairly significant organic
  • 6.51-7.50 Fairly Poor Significant organic
  • 7.51-8.50 Poor Very significant organic
  • 8.51-10.00 Very Poor Severe organic pollution

Multimetric Indices
  • A single numerical characterization of a
    community (assemblage) that is based on a
    combination of more than one metric
  • Hypothetical MMI EPT Index HBI Scrapers
  • Advantages
  • More information about a community
  • Metrics from different categories
  • Better indication of biological integrity,
    different elements and processes
  • Sensitive to a wider range of types of PES

State Programs
  • Several states have developed comprehensive
    biomontioring programs and multimetric indices
  • Florida Stream Condition Index (FSCI)
  • Stream Condition Index for Virginia Non-Coastal
    Streams (SCI)
  • Stream Condition Index for West Virginia Wadeable
    Streams (SCI)
  • Ohio EPAs Invertebrate Community Index (ICI)
  • Marylands Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity
  • Arkansas, Maine, and New Jersey are currently
    developing their own indices

Multimetric Indices
  • Creating a comprehensive index takes a lot of
    time and data
  • FSCI required surveys of 188 reference site over
    3 years to get started and data collection
  • However, a simple MMI can be created without
    background data as long as the parameters are set
    prior to data collection, to avoid bias

Sample Study
  • Prairie Creek, Arkansas
  • Effected by AMD from two sources
  • Central Coal and Cokes Mine 6
  • Woodson Mine
  • 5th order, low gradient stream
  • Arkansas River Valley Ecosystem
  • Cattle grazing and mining, predominant land uses

Pre-assessment Study
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Mine 6 Discharge
Woodson Mine Discharge
Water Quality
Site ID Temperature C pH Specific Conductance uS Dissolved Oxygen mg/l Turbidity FAU
R2 20.25 7.13 149.2 7.00 10
R1 22.00 7.21 147.6 6.92 14
AMD2 16.00 6.84 391.0 4.32 9
AMD1 20.00 4.02 389.0 6.47 22
S1 17.50 6.85 332.0 5.53 14
S2 18.80 6.87 294.0 6.09 30
Table 2. Chemical analysis results, listed in
upstream to downstream order Measurement taken
after significant rain event
Habitat Assessment
Habitat Assessment Results
Site ID Habitat Evaluation Index
R1 118
R2 108
S1 92
S2 97
Reference Site (upstream)
Sample Site (downstream)
Lack of Riparian High Cattle Grazing
Reference Site (upstream)
Sample Site (downstream)
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Invert Sampling Results
Metric Mean Upstream Expected Response to Perturbation Mean Downstream of Upstream of Outside Reference Site
EPT 5.50 - 5.50 100.00 110.00
EPT 48.33 - 12.34 25.53 44.32
Taxa Richness 17.00 - 14.00 82.35 100.00
Simpson's D 0.80 - 0.50 62.15 65.21
HBI 4.14 5.69 137.56 112.30
Top Dominant 33.82 70.09 207.24 164.50
Top 5 Dominant 85.67 92.90 108.43 107.57
Chironomidae 20.52 70.09 341.58 373.82
Tolerant 7.08 5.65 79.85 165.77
Intolerant 32.79 - 6.49 19.81 32.65
Haptobenthos 67.80 - 22.69 33.46 29.58
Herpobenthos 30.57 76.43 250.05 336.26
Scrapers 13.62 - 6.30 46.25 55.46
Ephemeroptera Taxa 1.50 - 3.00 200.00 150.00
Intolerant Taxa 3.50 - 3.00 85.71 75.00
Quick Multi-Metric Index
AMD Ref of Ref
EPT 12.34 48.33 25.53
Simpson's D 0.50 0.80 62.15
HBI 5.69 4.14 72.70
Chironomidae 70.09 20.52 29.28
Haptobenthos 22.69 67.80 33.46
SC 6.30 13.62 46.25
Final Grade 44.89 100
  • Why should we monitor the biotic integrity of our
  • Traditional chemical water quality sampling only
    tells part of the story
  • Monitoring the biota integrates the full range of
    environmental influences chemical, physical, and
  • Organisms are continuous monitors of
    environmental quality, PES spikes do not go
    unnoticed and can be detected with a
    comprehensive biomonitoring program
  • A pre-mining bioassessment establishes a baseline
    for future reclamation
  • Track improvements and identify successes in both
    active mining and AML reclamation

  • Kale Horton, Lachelle Harris, Dan Trout, Wayne
    Van Buren
  • Dr. Steve Voshell (Virginia Tech)

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