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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P37) Assessing the Impact of Mussel Bed Presence on Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Communities and Stream Function

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AUTHORS. Justin Radecki, Kathryn Sheets, Ana Wassilak, Raelee Olson – Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT. This project examined the relationship between live, active mussel beds and macroinvertebrate communities in two Barry CO., MI stream systems. Surveys of the Coldwater River & Cedar Creek were conducted to search for live mussel beds and identify species presence and abundance, and to complete quantitative sampling of the macroinvertebrate community within these same mussel beds and at paired sites without mussels.  Abiotic factors including water chemistry, substrate analysis, width, depth, velocity, and canopy cover were also sampled at all sites. We hypothesized that mussel beds would contain a larger percent of filter-feeding macroinvertebrates. The results of this project should be useful to track recovery in the degraded Coldwater River, and establish a framework for baseline conditions in Cedar Creek. Our preliminary data indicates that there was a significantly greater abundance of dipterans in Cedar Creek in comparison to the Coldwater River (% abundance 49 vs. 31; p=0.032; ANOVA).  Similarly, total macroinvertebrate abundance was significantly higher in Cedar Creek vs. the Coldwater River (total abundance 10,500 vs. 4,100; p=0.052; ANOVA). According to completed analyses, there was no significant difference in %EPT, richness, Family Biotic Index, or diversity between the two systems. Additionally, a wider range of mussel species (9 species in Cedar Creek to 6 species in the Coldwater River) and a higher abundance of mussels overall were found at the Cedar Creek sites than in the Coldwater River. Our preliminary results concerning relationship between macroinvertebrates and mussel beds suggest little difference in macroinvertebrate communities between experimental and control sites.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD