Presenter Information

Anna Palmer, SUNY PurchaseFollow

Academic Field

Environmental Sciences, Study, Engineering

Faculty Mentor Name

Ryan Taylor

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Using a nationwide sampling of small stream health and condition conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), a representative statistical model was created to understand which socioeconomic factors correlate significantly with biological integrity in small streams. The Shannon index for species diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates was used as the dependent variable since benthic macroinvertebrates are both sensitive to pollutants and physical habitat alterations. Several independent variables were investigated focusing on select components within the sociopolitical and built environments of streams. Percent of a state’s gross domestic product attributed to agriculture, was identified as the strongest predictor for reduced benthic macroinvertebrate population diversity within streams, suggesting the urgent need for a change in current agricultural practices in order for stream quality to improve.. In addition, until such changes in agricultural production methods are made, the study suggests the usefulness of using low-cost, rapid economic assessments of a region’s local economic output instead of field-intensive biological sampling as a potentially valid measure of stream condition in the United States.

Keywords

Aquatic pollution, socioeconomics, sustainable agriculture, macrobenthic invertebrates

Start Date

10-4-2015 9:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 11:00 AM

Location

Hartwell 123

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Apr 10th, 9:30 AM Apr 10th, 11:00 AM

The Relationship Between Local Socioeconomic Conditions and Macroinvertebrate Communities of Wadeable Streams Across the United States

Hartwell 123

Using a nationwide sampling of small stream health and condition conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), a representative statistical model was created to understand which socioeconomic factors correlate significantly with biological integrity in small streams. The Shannon index for species diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates was used as the dependent variable since benthic macroinvertebrates are both sensitive to pollutants and physical habitat alterations. Several independent variables were investigated focusing on select components within the sociopolitical and built environments of streams. Percent of a state’s gross domestic product attributed to agriculture, was identified as the strongest predictor for reduced benthic macroinvertebrate population diversity within streams, suggesting the urgent need for a change in current agricultural practices in order for stream quality to improve.. In addition, until such changes in agricultural production methods are made, the study suggests the usefulness of using low-cost, rapid economic assessments of a region’s local economic output instead of field-intensive biological sampling as a potentially valid measure of stream condition in the United States.