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Ecology of Macroinvertebrates. What Problems Must Macroinvertebrates Solve Because They Live In Streams? Aqueous medium (tough to get O 2 )Aqueous medium.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecology of Macroinvertebrates. What Problems Must Macroinvertebrates Solve Because They Live In Streams? Aqueous medium (tough to get O 2 )Aqueous medium."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecology of Macroinvertebrates

2 What Problems Must Macroinvertebrates Solve Because They Live In Streams? Aqueous medium (tough to get O 2 )Aqueous medium (tough to get O 2 ) Medium that is generally moving upstream-downstreamMedium that is generally moving upstream-downstream Daily variation in physio-chemical characteristicsDaily variation in physio-chemical characteristics Seasonal variation in hydrologySeasonal variation in hydrology Connected to upstream conditionsConnected to upstream conditions Linked to land-water interfaceLinked to land-water interface black flies

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4 Some Guiding Principles for Classification Everyone can classify objectsEveryone can classify objects Ways macroinvertebrates may be classified:Ways macroinvertebrates may be classified: –Functional feeding groups –Morphology –Locomotion –Microhabitat (i.e. niche) –Type of metamorphosis –Means of obtaining oxygen –Need for oxygen / Ability of stream to provide that oxygen net spinning caddisfly

5 Feeding Groups

6 Biotic Indices A way to classify based on macroinvertebrates’ tolerance to pollutionA way to classify based on macroinvertebrates’ tolerance to pollution –Generally this means organic pollution Or that which affects oxygen levels in the streamOr that which affects oxygen levels in the stream

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8 Biotic Indices Some organisms require water with a lot of oxygen in itSome organisms require water with a lot of oxygen in it Others have adaptations to obtaining the oxygen they needOthers have adaptations to obtaining the oxygen they need

9 Ability of water to hold oxygen

10 Adaptations for Obtaining Oxygen Morphological –Tubes –Soft tissue between segments & gills –Hair-like/Plate-like wings Behavioral -Body pumping -Swimming to surface -Construct burrows or tubes

11 Presence of Gills

12 Air bubbles

13 Air tube

14 Hemoglobulin

15 Plastron trapped air space next to insect’s body creates a bubbletrapped air space next to insect’s body creates a bubble Oxygen in air space used up by insect but replaced by oxygen diffusing in from surrounding waterOxygen in air space used up by insect but replaced by oxygen diffusing in from surrounding water Thus, insect never has to surface to replenish air bubbleThus, insect never has to surface to replenish air bubble

16 Representative Mayflies flathead mayflyarmored mayfly prong gill mayfly adultHexagenia

17 Body shape (Mayfly)

18 Mayfly adult

19 Representative Dragonflies & Damselflies broadwing damselfly adult darner dragonfly adult darner dragonfly larva broadwing damselfly larva

20 Representative Stoneflies common stoneflyperlodid stonefly

21 Stonefly adult (Little Yellow Stone)

22 Representative True Bugs water strider water scorpionback swimmer giant water bug

23 Representative Hellgrammites or Alderflies (Top) & Spongillaflies (Bottom) Alderfly larva hellgrammite spongillaflyadult alderfly

24 Caddisflies (Tricoptera) Sensitive Larvae: Soft “worm-like”bodiesSoft “worm-like”bodies Head contains a hard coveringHead contains a hard covering Larvae are known for their construction of hollow cases that they either carry with them or attach to rocksLarvae are known for their construction of hollow cases that they either carry with them or attach to rocks –built from twigs or bark, small stones, or rolled leaves –used for protection and pupation Anal hooks usually presentAnal hooks usually present Large - Length up to 2 inchesLarge - Length up to 2 inches

25 Legs and prolegs (Caddisfly) Caddis removed from case Prolegs on midge

26 Case (Caddis fly)

27 Caddisfly larvae w/ case October caddis

28 Representative Caddisflies net spinning caddisfly humpless casemaker caddisflysaddlecase maker caddisfly

29 Aquatic moths obtain oxygen through diffusion across soft tissue FamilyTolerance Feeding Guild PyralidaeModerateShredder

30 Representative Beetles Riffle beetle adult

31 Water Pennies (Coleoptera) Sensitive Circular-shapedCircular-shaped Attach firmly to rocksAttach firmly to rocks Sensitive – need high oxygen and fast flowing waterSensitive – need high oxygen and fast flowing water

32 Representative Flies midge larva cranefly larva midge adult

33 Cranefly (Diptera) Wide Range Worm-likeWorm-like Head capsule, usually retracted into “accordion- like” bodyHead capsule, usually retracted into “accordion- like” body ShreddersShredders

34 Midge Larvae (Diptera) Tolerant Pear-shaped body, with swollen base where they attachPear-shaped body, with swollen base where they attach Filter feedersFilter feeders

35 Crayfish (Decapoda) Wide Range 4 pairs of walking legs4 pairs of walking legs Large pair of pinchersLarge pair of pinchers Up to 6 inchesUp to 6 inches

36 Scuds (Amphipoda) Wide Range “Shrimp-like”“Shrimp-like” Prefer muddy substrate with rooted vegetationPrefer muddy substrate with rooted vegetation

37 Snails (Gastropoda) Tolerant Cylindrical shellCylindrical shell May be right or left handedMay be right or left handed


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