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PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF THE FAMILY AND FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY OF MACROINVERTEBRATES OF THE KETTLE RIVER BASED ON SUBSTRATE COMPOSITION AND WATER SPEED
Catherine DeGuire, Edgewood High School, Madison WI (advised by Toben Lafrancois and Mekel Wiederholt Meier)
Macroinvertebrates play a significant role in their ecosystems and are important bioindicators. Different habitats within a river can affect the distribution and abundance of macroinvertebrate taxa and functional groups. The purpose of this study was to examine macroinvertebrate communities in areas of the Kettle River (Pine Co., MN) in June of 2010 and their distribution in relation to substrate composition and water speed. Macroinvertebrate taxonomic and functional diversity were measured along with basic water chemistry and water speed. Substrate composition and vegetation were measured qualitatively. Invertebrates were identified to family level and assigned a functional group (based on Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest). It was expected that there would be greater family diversity in areas with more organic matter, fewer boulders, and slower water speeds because it is necessary for macroinvertebrates to have structured habitats provided by the slower water speeds and food sources provided by vegetation. Results showed that family diversity corresponded most closely to the varying water speeds and the subsequent changes in substrate composition. The functional diversity was similar at all nine sites, which can be explained by the fact that ecologically different sites are capable of supporting all functional groups of macroinvertebrates inhabiting the site. Results may change at lower taxonomic resolution, if more sites are sampled, or if the survey is carried out at different times of the year.