State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008KY108B
Title: Comparison of eastern hemlock and hardwood dominated forest stream assemblages
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: KY Fifth and Sixth
Focus Categories: Ecology, Surface Water
Keywords: aquatic diversity, fish, macroinvertebrates
Principal Investigator: Harrel, Sherry
Federal Funds: $ 3,181
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 8,551
Abstract: This project is aimed at comparing the aquatic diversity between fish and invertebrate assemblages in eastern hemlock dominated forests and hardwood dominated forests. Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests are declining due to the introduction of the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). In order to anticipate what effect the loss of hemlocks in hemlock dominated forests may have on aquatic biodiversity, we will compare the species diversity and richness of aquatic assemblages in hemlock versus hardwood streams. Stream factors including temperature, water flow, and water chemistry will be used in considering the biological differences between hemlock and hardwood streams. Invertebrate samples will be taken by kick sampling and species captured will be classified based on trophic groups (shredder-detritivores, collector-detritivores, grazer-algivores, and predators). Fish sampling will be conducted by using a backpack electroshocking unit and the fishes will be identified to species and classified based on their trophic groups (piscivore, insectivore, and omnivore). A comparison of the taxonomic and trophic diversity between hemlock and hardwood forest streams will demonstrate the population variation between hemlock and hardwood forests.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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