Factors Influencing The Accuracy Of A Macroinvertebrate Bioassessment Protocol In South Carolina Coastal Plain Streams (DRAFT)

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The Multiple Habitat Sampling Protocol (MHSP) is a bioassessment method designed to assess the ecological health of South Carolina streams on the basis of macroinvertebrate samples collected from natural substrates. The MHSP is computed by averaging the EPT (number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera taxa) and BI (a biotic index that reflects the pollution tolerances of individual taxa) to produce a bioclassification score. The MHSP produced low bioclassification scores that could falsely indicate environmental degradation in some undisturbed, high quality streams in the Sandhills ecoregion. This problem had two causes: (1) the metrics (especially EPT) were significantly related to stream size, ... continued below

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Paller, M. H.; Martin, F. D.; Wike, L. D. & Specht, W. L. January 31, 2006.

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The Multiple Habitat Sampling Protocol (MHSP) is a bioassessment method designed to assess the ecological health of South Carolina streams on the basis of macroinvertebrate samples collected from natural substrates. The MHSP is computed by averaging the EPT (number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera taxa) and BI (a biotic index that reflects the pollution tolerances of individual taxa) to produce a bioclassification score. The MHSP produced low bioclassification scores that could falsely indicate environmental degradation in some undisturbed, high quality streams in the Sandhills ecoregion. This problem had two causes: (1) the metrics (especially EPT) were significantly related to stream size, which confounded stream size effects with environmental impacts, and (2) the scoring criteria for EPT were too high for some Sandhills streams, likely because of unrecognized heterogeneity among the Sandhills streams from which the criteria were derived. We corrected these problems by developing new scoring criteria from ecologically comparable undisturbed streams and by utilizing residuals from regressions of the metrics on stream width to normalize for stream size. The MHSP and related protocols are effective methods for assessing environmental quality but allowances must be made for the effects of stream size and the potential ecological heterogeneity that naturally exists among streams in some ecoregions.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2006-00059
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 881496
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874801

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  • January 31, 2006

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 4:22 p.m.

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Paller, M. H.; Martin, F. D.; Wike, L. D. & Specht, W. L. Factors Influencing The Accuracy Of A Macroinvertebrate Bioassessment Protocol In South Carolina Coastal Plain Streams (DRAFT), article, January 31, 2006; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874801/: accessed August 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.