An Assessment of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Community Diversity Following Tait Station Low Dam Removal
Samantha Jean Berkley, Karrington Saige Ecker, Emma Claire Hiltner, Madison Spooner Johnson
The goal of this project is to analyze how river habitat quality in the Great Miami River has changed after the Tait Station low dam removal that occurred in 2018 and how that has affected biodiversity of macroinvertebrates. Dr. Kavanaugh’s river researchers took kick and sweep net samples in the Fall of 2019, one year after low dam removal, in the exact location where the dam had stood. These samples will be sorted, identified, and used to generate a number of indices of biodiversity such as; number of taxa, species richness, numbers of EPT taxa, and the MAIS composite index. This data will be compared directly to the Miami Conservancy District report (Kavanaugh, 2016) which describes community conditions before the dam was removed. In this early report, the quality of the area surrounding the dam was rated “good” by the MAIS. We predict that biodiversity may have been reduced in 2019 due to disturbances to the river channel during low dam removal in 2018. However, a factor that may play an important role and could mitigate negative impacts was the extensive stream channel restoration that was part of dam removal. It's possible the constructed riffles and other stream bed restoration methods may have mitigated much of the predicted negative impacts. The implications of this study are valuable because low dam removal is a common river restoration tactic, but more research is needed on how this practice affects macroinvertebrate communities and habitat quality in the long run.
Jeffrey L. Kavanaugh
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Life Below Water
"An Assessment of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Community Diversity Following Tait Station Low Dam Removal" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1776.