Material Information

Lentic vs lotic environments and their effects on aquatic insects
Dalton, Charles
Winger, Ethan
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
conference poster


General Note:
Presented at the 2020 MSU Denver Undergraduate Research Conference
General Note:
Faculty mentor: Christopher Cooley
General Note:
Major: Biology

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Source Institution:
Auraria Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Sam Dalton ( and Ethan Winger ( Department of Biology Metropolitan State University of Denver This study will be to determine the effects of lentic environments on aquatic insects, including species diversity and richness, especially when compared to lotic environments in a similar geographic climate. Findings based on preliminary assumptions suggest that lentic environments can negatively alter aquatic insect growth. Lotic environments, for the purpose of this study, will be considered systems that have consistent movement of flowing water. This movement will be a solid indicator to us for the purpose of analyzing disturbance amounts in the system. Lentic environments, for the purpose of this study, will be considered systems that lack consistent movement of flowing water. Due to the still nature of this water, eutrophication by algae is more easily able to occur, and the lack of movement will be a solid indicator to us for the purpose of analyzing the opposite conditions that are commonly found in lotic systems. By taking samples of water from several lentic and lotic regions along the South Platte River of Colorado and estimating counts of organisms of similar species within our various collected samples, we will determine values for a mean species diversity and a mean species richness in each wetland type and use those values as an indicator for potential impacts of amount of disturbance. Samples will then be observed using a dissecting microscope in order to identify number of different species, as well as quantity of each identified species using our macroinvertebrate identification key, seen below. We completed an unpaired test in order to compare how many different species were found in our study for each of our two different riparian systems, one lentic and one lotic, as well as to determine which system experienced a higher species diversity value, according to our findings. Our t test yielded an approximate statistical value of .089 with an approximate p value of .46. The lotic system data yielded 8 different species found through the conditions of our study. However, in the lentic system, only 4 different species were found through our study. For the species richness data, an ANOVA test was performed in order to accommodate our two independent variables each yielding multiple dependent variables, 8 in the lotic system and 4 in the lentic system. Each of the dependent variables would have a value of how many species we counted, in order to simulate species richness. The p value found between the groups for the ANOVA test used for species richness was equal to approximately .93. Dr. Christopher Cooley, Ecologist Extraordinaire, MSU Denver Overall, our data determined that there was no significant difference between our samples. Despite our findings lacking a significant statistical correlation, more research is needed to be able to confidently understand why our data showed this. Many factors could have impacted our findings, including, but not limited to: Seasonal Impacts User Error Small Sample Size Not Enough Samples Collected Weather While this analysis was basic, fully understanding various ecosystem phenomena and how it impacts biodiversity is important to further understand how best to protect and ensure the longevity of these systems and their inhabitants. The design of this study is to examine species diversity, and richness of those species, in two very different riparian systems. Through this study, we intend to determine whether or not a significant difference can be found for values of species richness in systems that are exposed to different elements and, inherently, different amounts of disturbance. We will generalize approximate effect of these environmental conditions through invertebrate sampling data South Platte River, more specifically, around the Metro Denver region. We hope to gather sufficient data to be able to determine whether there is a significant difference in the growth capabilities of invertebrates that are common in this region, as is evidenced by values of both species richness and diversity. Does disturbance level significantly impact aquatic invertebrate survivability? Do the waters that experience lower amounts of disturbance foster more diversity and richness? Can this study sufficiently investigate these questions? t Test: Two Sample Assuming Equal Variances Lotic Lentic Mean 4.071428571 3.714285714 Variance 120.8406593 104.6813187 Observations 14 14 Pooled Variance 112.760989 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 df 26 t Stat 0.088983923 P(T<=t) one tail 0.464888293 t Critical one tail 1.70561792 P(T<=t) two tail 0.929776587 t Critical two tail 2.055529439 Anova: Single Factor Ecosystem Type Count Sum Average Variance Lotic 14 57 4.071428571 120.8406593 Lentic 14 52 3.714285714 104.6813187 ANOVA Source of Variation SS df MS F P value F crit Between Groups 0.892857143 1 0.892857143 0.007918139 0.929776587 4.225201273 Within Groups 2931.785714 26 112.760989 Total 2932.678571 27 INVERTEBRATES and LARVAE LOTIC LENTIC Annelida, Nemotoda (roundworms) 0 0 Annelida, Hirudinea (Leaches) 0 0 Annelida, Oligochaeta (Aquatic earthworms) 2 3 Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria (Flatworms) 0 0 Crustacea, Isopoda (Aquatic sow bugs) 0 0 Crustacea, Amphipoda (Sideswimmers) 4 10 Chelicerata, Hydracarina (Water mites) 1 0 Insecta, Coleoptera (Beetles) 0 0 Insecta, Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies) 2 0 Insecta, Plecoptera (Stoneflies) 2 0 Insecta, Ephemeroptera (Mayflies) 3 1 Insecta, Tricoptera (Caddiesflies) 1 0 Insecta, Diptera (True flies, larvae) 42 38 Megaloptera (Dobson Flies) 0 0 mean 4.071 3.714 variance 120.8 104.7 n 14 14