Honors Theses


Ryan Reihart, Ph.D. / Chelse Prather, Ph.D.



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Wetland restoration projects are essential to preserving these imperiled ecosystems. While restoring lost or degraded wetlands is the first step, determining the success of these restoration efforts is often difficult or only focuses on one aspect of an ecosystem (e.g., water quality testing). I plan to measure the success of wetland restoration through traditional (i.e., water quality testing) and non-traditional methods (i.e., terrestrial and aquatic insect sampling) in native (i.e., control) and restored (i.e., experimental) wetlands in Ohio. I will use sweep nets for aboveground insect collection and a dip net for aquatic macroinvertebrate collection. These samples will be sorted, counted, and identified (to at least the family level) in the lab, where we will determine how terrestrial insect and aquatic macroinvertebrate community indices (e.g., Shannon diversity, richness, evenness) indicate the health of restored wetlands. Water quality testing will be performed using a YSI probe, measuring dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, temperature, and nitrates. The values collected for these characteristics will be compared to native wetlands and known standard water health metrics. By combining traditional (i.e., water quality testing) with non-traditional sampling techniques, the results of this project will provide a novel method to determine the health of restored wetlands. Using these results, we will be able to work with and advise local soil and water conservation districts how best to invest their money and resources for wetland preservation. This project will be essential for the health of our wetlands in Ohio.

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Undergraduate research