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macroinvertebrate communities, aquatic insects, intermittent prairie streams, Northern Glaciated Plains, biological assessment


Intermittent streams comprise about 90% of stream and river miles, and the Northern Glaciated Plains (NGP) ecoregion (46) encompasses about 33% of land area in South Dakota. Currently, little is known about the macroinvertebrate communities inhabiting intermittent streams in this region. This information is crucial if deviations from reference (undisturbed) conditions are to be made. This study examined the aquatic insect communities in intermittent streams (n = 12) located in four level IV ecoregions (Prairie Coteau 46k, Prairie Coteau Escarpment 46l, Big Sioux Basin 46m, James River Lowland 46n) within the NGP. Invertebrates were collected using a quantitative bucket technique with a 500-μm petite net. A total of 26 families were identified from 7 insect orders. Chironomidae (Order Diptera) comprised the majority (mean=83%, range=53- 89%) of invertebrates found. Taxa from 5 functional feeding groups were collected with collector-gatherer taxa being represented the most (mean=91% of total abundance, range=86-93%). All 6 invertebrate habit guilds were also represented with burrowers being the most common (mean=84% of total abundance, range=73-93%). There were no significant differences found in total richness, FFG, and habit guilds among the different level IV ecoregions within the NGP. Further sampling efforts during summer 2008 and identification to a lower level (genus or species) will allow us to better describe and possibly detect differences in macroinvertebrate communities of intermittent streams in the NGP.

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Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science



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