A Stream Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index (MMI) for the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the Southeastern Plains, USA

Ely Kosnicki, Stephen A. Sefick, Michael H. Paller, Miller S. Jerrell, Blair A. Prusha, Sean C. Sterrett, Tracey D. Tuberville, Jack W. Feminella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A macroinvertebrate multimetric index is an effective tool for assessing the biological integrity of streams. However, data collected under a single protocol may not be available for an entire region. We sampled macroinvertebrates from the full extent of the Sand Hills ecoregion Level IV of the Southeastern Plains with a standard protocol during the summers of 2010–2012. We evaluated the performance of 94 metrics through a series of screening criteria and built 48 macroinvertebrate multimetric indexs with combinations of the best performing metrics, representing richness, habit, functional feeding guild, sensitivity, and community composition. A series of narrative-response tests for each macroinvertebrate multimetric index was used to find the best performing macroinvertebrate multimetric index which we called the Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index. The Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index consisted of the measures Biotic Index, % Shredder taxa, Clinger taxa2/total taxa, Plecoptera and Trichoptera richness, and Tanytarsini taxa2/Chironomidae taxa. Comparison of the Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index with existing assessment tools calculated with our data indicated that the Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index performs at a high level with regard to identifying degraded sites and in its response to stress gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-751
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Biological integrity
  • Biotic assessment
  • Lotic ecosystems
  • Macroinvertebrates
  • Multimetric index
  • Sand Hills ecoregion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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    Kosnicki, E., Sefick, S. A., Paller, M. H., Jerrell, M. S., Prusha, B. A., Sterrett, S. C., Tuberville, T. D., & Feminella, J. W. (2016). A Stream Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index (MMI) for the Sand Hills Ecoregion of the Southeastern Plains, USA. Environmental Management, 58(4), 741-751. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-016-0740-0