Title page for ETD etd-05222002-174758

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Moeykens, Michael David
URN etd-05222002-174758
Title Studies of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Use for Biomonitoring of Mid-Atlantic Highland Streams
Degree PhD
Department Entomology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Voshell, J. Reese Jr. Committee Chair
Angermeier, Paul L. Committee Member
Benfield, Ernest Fredrick Committee Member
Fell, Richard D. Committee Member
Smith, Eric P. Committee Member
  • heavy metals
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • multimetric index
  • biocriteria
  • biomonitoring
  • MAIS
Date of Defense 2002-05-10
Availability unrestricted
Research was conducted in three areas of water quality assessment. Long term ecological monitoring data from Shenandoah National Park (SNP) were analyzed and a protocol for data analysis was presented. Streams in SNP were found to be comparable to the best that can be found in the Blue Ridge ecoregion. Land use in SNP (mostly for recreational purposes) does not appear to be causing impairment to the macroinvertebrate assemblages. Streams in the SNP were found to recover quickly from disturbance.

The Macroinvertebrate Aggregated Index for Streams (MAIS) was found to have an overall classification efficiency (CE) of 86% in the Ridge and Valley ecoregion, and an overall CE of 91% in the Central Appalachians ecoregion. Refinement of the MAIS for use in the Blue Ridge ecoregion resulted in an increase of the overall CE to 78%. The CE for reference sites in the Blue Ridge was 75%, and the CE for degraded sites was 87%.

An intensive study of a stream (Peak Creek) with suspected heavy metal impairment showed that capping of an industrial waste site has resulted in improvements to the macroinvertebrate assemblages. The source of the impairment was not linked solely to heavy metals, but was found to be a mixture of pollution sources and environmental stress.

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