"Benthic Organisms As Water Quality Indicators"
Benthic Organisms As Water Quality Indicators Mr. Christensen Objectives for Today • Understand the use of biological indicators for assessing water quality • Learn to capture, handle and identify macroinvertebrates • Learn to associate macroinvertebrate presence or absence with levels of water quality The Concept Of Biological Indicators • The presence, condition, and numbers of the types of fish, insects, algae, and plants can provide accurate information about the health of a specific river, stream, lake, wetland, or estuary. • Used to characterize current water quality status and to track and predict significant change. Biological Indicators • Evaluating the health of a body of water through the use of biological indicators is called biological assessment. • Water quality can include: dissolved oxygen, pollutants, algal growth and ph levels. From Managing Michigan Ponds for Sport Fishing MSU Extension Bulletin E-1554 Why Use Biological Indicators? • By observing directly the plants and animals that live in bodies of water—we can---. • Set protection or restoration goals. • Determine what to monitor and how to interpret. Why Use Biological Indicators • Prioritize stressors and choose control measures. • Assess and report the effectiveness of management actions. What Are Benthic Macroinvertebrates • Benthic = bottom. • Macro = large. • Invertebrate = animal without a backbone. Benthic Macroinvertebrates • Aquatic invertebrates that live in the bottom parts of our waters and make good indicators of watershed health. • Live in water all or part of its life cycle usually the nymph or larval stage (complete or partial metamorphosis). Why Benthic Macroinvertebrates Are Good Indicators of Water Quality • Live in the water for all or most of their life • Stay in areas suitable for their survival • Are easy to collect • Are easy to identify in a laboratory Why Good Indicators-continued • Often live for more than one year • Have limited mobility • Are good indicators of local environmental conditions Levels of Sensitivity • Sensitive—stoneflies, water penny beetles, mayflies, dobsonflies, alderflies, snipe flies, mussels, riffle beetles, (trout) Levels of Sensitivity • Moderate—damselflies, dragonflies, crayfish, amphipods, blackflies, caddisflies isopods, craneflies, (catfish) Levels of Sensitivity • Pollution tolerant--midge flies (blood- worms), worms, leeches, pouch snails, (carp) ISOPOD (SOWBUG) MAYFLIES LEECH CRAYFISH From: www.epa.gov/indicators/html/benthosclean.html Found at -- http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/wacademy/acad2000/rbp/s19a.jpg Lets Get to Work From www.cpawscalgary.org/education/pdf/pond-study-lesson-plan.pdf