Location Effects on Water Quality and Diversity of Benthic Macroinvertebrates Abstract
The objective of this experiment is to study the influence that separate locations will have on the water cleanliness and the variety of organisms present at each location. The procedure that took place for this experiment was to collect and analyze samples of organisms by using the macroinvertebrate key to identify and place each organism in a specific group. After all data was collected the information was used to determine the water quality and diversity for each location. The results showed that the Raquette River was more diverse, but Woodstock Pond had a better water quality. Introduction
Benthic Macroinvertebrates are animals with no backbone or internal skeleton that live on the bottom of lakes, ponds, wetlands, rivers, and streams. Examples include nymph stages of mayflies, dragonflies, damselflies, crayfish, snails, worms, and leeches (Thorp, 2011). They are often used as environmental indicators that offer a measure of the biological condition in aquatic locations. After many years of research scientist have determined that the presence, condition, and amount of each biological indicator can provide useful information about the quality of water and can also be used to identify major economic stressors. The biological diversity can be quantified by using numerous approaches, but the two main parts taken into consideration are richness and evenness. To study location effects, an experiment was conducted by sampling macroinvertebrates from Woodstock Pond and Raquette River over a period of once a week for two weeks. Woodstock Pond is a manmade pond on the university’s campus. The Raquette River originates at Raquette Lake in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. 146 miles long, it is the third longest river entirely in the state of New York. The experiment focused on analyzing the data collected to determine the diversity and quality of the water at Woodstock and Raquette. For many years benthic macroinvertebrates have been used as bioindicators, therefore there has to be a direct correction between diversity and water quality (Burger, 2001). The methods being used to determine water quality and diversity in this experiment are Hilsenhoff’s Biotic Index and Simpson’s Biodiversity Index. It was predicted that the Woodstock Pond would be more diverse but have a lower water quality. This prediction is due to the idea that the constant moving of river water would decrease pollution to specific areas and that there would be fewer inhabitants present in the river. Compared to a pond that is isolated, water has minimal flow opportunity, and there are more sources of nature surrounding the pond to allow for increased diversity. Overall, it was predicted that locations have a significant effect on aquatic contents and water quality. Methods
In order to obtain a diverse group of benthic macroinvertebrates this procedure took place in two different locations once a week for two weeks. The first location for week one where benthic macroinvertebrates were collected was the Woodstock Pond. The second location for week two was the Raquette River. Data Collection
There were a total of five samples taken with fifteen minutes time between each collection. The purpose of this is to allow time for the sample to settle so that the macroinvertebrates could be correctly accounted for. All five samples were taken at different location within the pond such as north 5 steps or left 3 steps, north 2 steps, longs there were a total of 5 paces in the pond, and the starting land location could vary. All group participants that went in the water wore waders to protect themselves from harmful substances and to keep from getting wet. The purpose of this procedure was to increase the accuracy of data and maximize the organism variety. The procedure that remained the same for each sample was placing the collection net knee deep in the water, next...
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