Title

Macroinvertebrate Community Response to Wetland Restoration in western Kentucky

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Biological Sciences

2nd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Faculty/Staff

3rd Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Faculty/Staff

4th Student Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Faculty/Staff

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Wetlands improve the quality of our nation’s streams, rivers, and lakes, and they support a diverse assemblage of plant and animal species. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on a variety of projects focused on restoring wetlands, such as the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Our main objective for this study was to quantify macroinvertebrate diversity on easements enrolled in WRP and in surrounding wetlands. Our study sites include restoration easements of various ages (4-15 years), agricultural fields prone to flooding as control sites, and mature bottomland forests, which represent pre-disturbance “reference” wetlands. Hydrological modification structures, such as levee breaks, ditch plugs, or shallow water areas have either been installed or removed on each easement. Stovepipe cores and multi-habitat dip-nets were used to collect macroinvertebrates at each site. Water quality was tested using ISCO automatic water samplers and YSI multi-parameter sondes. Easement hydrology was determined using pressure transducers and GIS. Preliminary results reveal a substantial increase in species richness and diversity which occurs soon after easement establishment. Because new easements are permanently enrolled, there is tremendous potential to quantify increases in physical and biological condition. Understanding how these easements respond to restoration will provide opportunities for adaptive management in subsequent years.

Spring Scholars Week 2019 Event

Watershed Studies Institute Research Symposium

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Macroinvertebrate Community Response to Wetland Restoration in western Kentucky

Wetlands improve the quality of our nation’s streams, rivers, and lakes, and they support a diverse assemblage of plant and animal species. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on a variety of projects focused on restoring wetlands, such as the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Our main objective for this study was to quantify macroinvertebrate diversity on easements enrolled in WRP and in surrounding wetlands. Our study sites include restoration easements of various ages (4-15 years), agricultural fields prone to flooding as control sites, and mature bottomland forests, which represent pre-disturbance “reference” wetlands. Hydrological modification structures, such as levee breaks, ditch plugs, or shallow water areas have either been installed or removed on each easement. Stovepipe cores and multi-habitat dip-nets were used to collect macroinvertebrates at each site. Water quality was tested using ISCO automatic water samplers and YSI multi-parameter sondes. Easement hydrology was determined using pressure transducers and GIS. Preliminary results reveal a substantial increase in species richness and diversity which occurs soon after easement establishment. Because new easements are permanently enrolled, there is tremendous potential to quantify increases in physical and biological condition. Understanding how these easements respond to restoration will provide opportunities for adaptive management in subsequent years.