Poster Title

Survey of Stream in Central Kentucky

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Kentucky State University

KY House District #

57

KY Senate District #

7

Department

Division of Math and Sciences

Abstract

Aquatic insect communities are often used as a measure of stream health as some species are sensitive while other species are tolerant to habitat degradation and poor water quality. This study measured and compared aquatic insects, habitat scores, dissolved oxygen, PH, and conductivity from three streams in Central Kentucky. The objectives of this study were to compare the data between the three streams, and to determine if the habitat and water quality parameters are effecting aquatic insect communities. Water quality data was collected at each stream with a Hach water quality probe and aquatic insects were collected using the kick-method with a D-frame net. Our results indicate that there is a significant difference (p0.05) in sensitive aquatic insects and habitat score between the three streams although the substrate in Little Six Mile and Student Branch were dominated by bedrock, no cobble or gravel was present to provide habitat structure. Our results indicate that the channelization and therefore habitat degradation of Little Six Mile and Student Branch have negatively impacted the sensitive insect taxa as their absence is linked with the absence of habitat in the bedrock streams. These ecosystems and their biota would benefit from habitat restoration.

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Survey of Stream in Central Kentucky

Aquatic insect communities are often used as a measure of stream health as some species are sensitive while other species are tolerant to habitat degradation and poor water quality. This study measured and compared aquatic insects, habitat scores, dissolved oxygen, PH, and conductivity from three streams in Central Kentucky. The objectives of this study were to compare the data between the three streams, and to determine if the habitat and water quality parameters are effecting aquatic insect communities. Water quality data was collected at each stream with a Hach water quality probe and aquatic insects were collected using the kick-method with a D-frame net. Our results indicate that there is a significant difference (p0.05) in sensitive aquatic insects and habitat score between the three streams although the substrate in Little Six Mile and Student Branch were dominated by bedrock, no cobble or gravel was present to provide habitat structure. Our results indicate that the channelization and therefore habitat degradation of Little Six Mile and Student Branch have negatively impacted the sensitive insect taxa as their absence is linked with the absence of habitat in the bedrock streams. These ecosystems and their biota would benefit from habitat restoration.