Title

Incorporating Diatom Collection and Analysis in Combination with Benthic Macroinvertebrates, Fisheries Sampling, and Water Quality Collection to Describe a More Holistic Representation of Water Quality Conditions

Item Type

Poster

Location

Elaine Langone Center, Terrace Room

Session

Poster session

Start Date

26-10-2018 8:00 PM

End Date

26-10-2018 9:59 PM

Keywords

Maryland, Reddy Branch, diatom, water quality, benthic macroinvertebrate, stream restoration

Description

Diatoms are photosynthetic unicellular, microorganisms (algae) that are distinguished by their silicified (SiO2-nH2O) cell walls. Physical factors, such as light, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and stressors such as pH, temperature, and toxins directly affect diatoms. Diatoms have fast growth rates (from hours to days) compared to fish and benthic macroinvertebrates and they reproduce and respond rapidly to environmental changes. The sensitivity of diatoms to stream conditions make these microorganisms highly valuable indicators, can provide early warning indicators of pollution increases and could likely be used describe habitat restoration success. Many diatom species have been calibrated to environmental measures and numerous diatom indices can be used for analysis. Diatom assemblages and water chemistry have been studied but not applied to stream restoration success criteria in Maryland. This project incorporates diatoms as part of pre-construction monitoring for a stream restoration project along Reddy Branch in Brookeville, MD in combination with benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, fisheries sampling, and water quality collection. We assumed that the combination of metrics for biological quality elements (BQE) is a consistent way to describe pre-construction conditions at a Reference Station (RED-01) and two stations within the Mitigation Site (RED-02 and RED-03). We tested our hypothesis by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates, diatoms, fish and water quality at the three sites in 2016. We compared the relevance of the different types of results (classical biological indices, taxonomic and non-taxonomic metrics, and physicochemical parameter values) to determine any differences between the Reference Station and the Mitigation Site Stations. The diatom, benthic, and fish metric results all showed similar scores/ratings for the three sampling stations along Reddy Branch, which is generally rated as Good to Excellent. The incorporation of diatom sampling and analysis supported the results collected for fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, and water quality parameters. The higher number of indicial metrics calculated for diatoms was useful in describing the full existing conditions at the Sampling Stations. It would be recommended to collect more than one season of diatoms since the cost is significantly lower compared to the cost of fish and benthic collection and analysis. Following construction of the restoration site (planned for 2018), the same post-construction physical and biological data will be collected and the results of post-construction will be compared to the baseline to determine success of the stream and wetland restoration project.

Language

eng

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Oct 26th, 8:00 PM Oct 26th, 9:59 PM

Incorporating Diatom Collection and Analysis in Combination with Benthic Macroinvertebrates, Fisheries Sampling, and Water Quality Collection to Describe a More Holistic Representation of Water Quality Conditions

Elaine Langone Center, Terrace Room

Diatoms are photosynthetic unicellular, microorganisms (algae) that are distinguished by their silicified (SiO2-nH2O) cell walls. Physical factors, such as light, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and stressors such as pH, temperature, and toxins directly affect diatoms. Diatoms have fast growth rates (from hours to days) compared to fish and benthic macroinvertebrates and they reproduce and respond rapidly to environmental changes. The sensitivity of diatoms to stream conditions make these microorganisms highly valuable indicators, can provide early warning indicators of pollution increases and could likely be used describe habitat restoration success. Many diatom species have been calibrated to environmental measures and numerous diatom indices can be used for analysis. Diatom assemblages and water chemistry have been studied but not applied to stream restoration success criteria in Maryland. This project incorporates diatoms as part of pre-construction monitoring for a stream restoration project along Reddy Branch in Brookeville, MD in combination with benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, fisheries sampling, and water quality collection. We assumed that the combination of metrics for biological quality elements (BQE) is a consistent way to describe pre-construction conditions at a Reference Station (RED-01) and two stations within the Mitigation Site (RED-02 and RED-03). We tested our hypothesis by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates, diatoms, fish and water quality at the three sites in 2016. We compared the relevance of the different types of results (classical biological indices, taxonomic and non-taxonomic metrics, and physicochemical parameter values) to determine any differences between the Reference Station and the Mitigation Site Stations. The diatom, benthic, and fish metric results all showed similar scores/ratings for the three sampling stations along Reddy Branch, which is generally rated as Good to Excellent. The incorporation of diatom sampling and analysis supported the results collected for fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, and water quality parameters. The higher number of indicial metrics calculated for diatoms was useful in describing the full existing conditions at the Sampling Stations. It would be recommended to collect more than one season of diatoms since the cost is significantly lower compared to the cost of fish and benthic collection and analysis. Following construction of the restoration site (planned for 2018), the same post-construction physical and biological data will be collected and the results of post-construction will be compared to the baseline to determine success of the stream and wetland restoration project.