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There are several ways in which to determine the health of an aquatic ecosystem, and one of the ways is to gather and sample its insect population. Depending on the pollution tolerance an insect family has, its presence or lack thereof is an indication of healthy such an ecosystem is. Using this approach, we studied the health of outfall water approximately 1.5 miles from the Great Miami River. Over the course of the study, different habitats affected by the outfall water, as well as others up and downstream, were sampled on two different dates, and the samples were later identified by their family. The data indicated that the health of the outfall discharge was fairly poor, but that it did not affect the health of the Mad River downstream. Hypotheses for such findings may be due to the fact that the outfall is ephemeral in nature, impairing the ability for organisms to survive, and also lessening the output into the Mad River.

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Mark E. Benbow

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Stander Symposium poster


This poster reflects research conducted as part of course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Research exercise: Bioassessment of Outfall Water of the Mad River as well as Its Effects Downriver Using Aquatic Insects As Indicators