The first sampling of the semester is underway with the Watersheds and Water Quality Research Lab here at MSU!
The many advantages to using benthic macroinvertebrates in freshwater biomonitoring are well known and utilizing them in water quality monitoring has become a common practice around the world. Their ubiquity, special diversity, and sensitivity to water quality make them excellent indicators of stream health. This study, within the Watersheds and Water Quality Research Lab in the CEE Dept. has been designed to identify associations between macroinvertebrate communities and environmental factors such as water quality and riparian vegetation along tributaries of Catalpa Creek. It is expected that as water quality wanes, so will macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity. Areas of the poorest water quality may contain a higher abundance of pollution tolerant species as well as a lower abundance and diversity of species overall. A pollution tolerance index is to be determined based on the quantification and qualification of identified macroinvertebrates. If the association between macroinvertebrates and environmental factors is strong, biological monitoring through the use of macroinvertebrates will become a useful tool in the assessment of water quality throughout Catalpa Creek.
If you are interested in conducting similar research, reach out to Dr. John J. Ramirez-Avila of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.