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Benthic Invertebrates of Fixed Sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages, Wisconsin and Michigan, 1993-95

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4211-D

By Bernard N. Lenz and S.J. Rheaume

National Water-Quality Assessment Program
Western Lake Michigan Drainages


 

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Abstract

This report describes the variability in family-level benthic-invertebrate population data and the reliability of the data as a water-quality indicator for 11 fixed surface-water sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study area of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Benthic-invertebrate-community measures were computed for the following: number of individuals, Hilsenhoff's Family-Level Biotic Index, number and percent EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Tricoptera), Margalef's Diversity Index, and mean tolerance value. Relations between these measures and environmental setting, habitat, and of chemical water quality are examined.

 

Benthic-invertebrate communities varied greatly among fixed sites and within individual streams among multiple-reach and multiple-year sampling. The variations between multiple reaches and years were sometimes larger than those found between different fixed sites. Factors affecting benthic invertebrates included both habitat and chemical quality. Generally, fixed-site streams with the highest diversity, greatest number of benthic invertebrates, and those at which community measures indicated the best water quality also had the best habitat and chemical quality.

Variations among reaches are most likely related to differences in habitat. Variations among years are most likely related to climatic changes, which create variations in flow and/or chemical quality. The variability in the data analyzed in this study shows how benthic invertebrates are affected by differences in both habitat and water quality, making them useful indicators of stream health; however, a single benthic-invertebrate sample alone cannot be relied upon to accurately describe water quality of the streams in this study. Benthic- invertebrate data contributed valuable information on the biological health of the 11 fixed sites when used as one of several data sources for assessing water quality.


Citation:

Bernard N. Lenz and S.J. Rheaume, 2000, Benthic Invertebrates of Fixed Sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages, Wisconsin and Michigan, 1993-95, Date Posted: May 8, 2006: Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4211-D.
[http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/WRIR/WRIR-95-4211-D/]


Contents

Abstract
Introduction
Western Lake Michigan Drainages Study Unit
Study design
Purpose and scope
Methods and materials
Collection of benthic invertebrates
Sampling gear and techniques
Sample preservation and identification
Determination of benthic-invertebrate-community measures
Benthic-invertebrate communities at fixed sites
Variability among fixed sites
Multiple-reach variability
Multiple-year variability
Reliability of benthic-invertebrate data as a water-quality indicator at fixed sites
Factors affecting variability in invertebrate communities among fixed sites
Factors affecting multiple-reach variability in invertebrate communities
Factors affecting multiple-year variability in invertebrate communities
Summary
References cited

Figures

  1. Map showing Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit of the National Water Quality Assessment Program
  2. Map showing boundaries of relatively homogeneous units in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit and location of fixed sites
  3. Graph showing number of benthic-invertebrate families repeatedly identified during multiple-reach sampling at selected fixed stream sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit
  4. Graph showing number of benthic-invertebrate families repeatedly identified during multiple-year sampling at selected fixed stream sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit
  5. Comparison diagram of benthic-invertebrate measures, habitat, and chemical water quality at selected fixed stream sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit

Tables

  1. Selected information for the fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit
  2. Breakdown of the number of families identified in benthic-invertebrate samples at fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1993-95
  3. Summary statistics of benthic-invertebrate measures at 11 fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1995
  4. Multiple-reach summary statistics of benthic-invertebrate measures at three fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1994
  5. Multiple-year summary statistics of benthic-invertebrate measures at eight fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1993-95
  6. Numbers and types of benthic invertebrates collected in samples from 11 fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1993-95
  7. Median values of selected water-chemistry characteristics of fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1993-95
  8. Select habitat characteristics of fixed sites in the Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit, 1993-95

For additional information, contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991
GS-W-MIlns_DC@usgs.gov
or visit our Web site at:
http://mi.water.usgs.gov

 


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL: http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/wri954211d
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Last modified: Tuesday, May 09 2006, 04:32:22 PM
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