Aquatic Invertebrates as Bioindicators; Baseline study for Glenview Preserve

Research Question: 

How do Aquatic Invertebrates act as Biological indicators of water quality and provide a baseline for determining environmental effects of increased land use, within the Glenview Preserve?


Bogs are sensitive ecosystems that are extremely vulnerable to change within its environment, The Bloomingdale bog is proposed to have an increase of land use while still maintaining the scenic vista. With an increase of land use, pollution is also introduced as a result. Pollution is a biological phenomenon in that is has a primary effect on the organisms within the ecosystem it is affecting. Investigating a polluted area using aquatic invertebrate samples can reveal the status of this area and they can represent the health of the subject site. The animals located in the Bloomingdale Bog provide a record of the conditions and reviews the history and natural hydrology of the Glenview Preserve. Each approach used is evaluated and outlines the reliability of aquatic invertebrates as Bio indicators of water quality. Diversity indices used are very useful for comparing two different types of wetland ecosystems in relation to ecosystem health. Comparing changes in community composition within the Bloomingdale Bog and our reference site gives us information to create a baseline for future research within the Glenview preserve by knowing the health of the area. Using secondary research and understanding how each species acts as a bio indicator allows us to evaluate the site using standardized qualitative sampling techniques. This method has a great potential to serve as a rapid and accurate biomonitoring tool. Data collected from both primary and secondary research provides a foundation to create baseline suggestions to monitor the incoming pollution from proposed land use of the Glenview Preserve.


The Glenview Preserve encompasses the Bloomingdale bog boreal wetland complex. This is one of the largest peatlands in New York State. This area has a wide variety of diversity from the inland poor fen in the open bog and dwarf shrub bog at the northern end, and alder thicket along the edges of two bridge brook and black spruce tamarack bog around the entire site. Bogs such as these are naturally acidic and low in nutrients, which leaves them very susceptible to any kind of alteration by increased levels of nutrient inputs. Aquatic invertebrates are species that will inhabit these types of wetlands. They are small animals such as insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. Many insects have a holometabolan life cycle, which means that they begin their lives in the water and this is where they gather all the nutrients needed for their adult life cycle. There are many reasons why aquatic invertebrates are used, and are useful as water quality indicators. For this ecosystem we know that it is very susceptible to alteration by nutrient input which could be caused by many factors such as storm water, pollution, nutrient runoff and many anthropogenic causes. If the Glenview Preserve is going to have an increase in visitors to the site, they suggested we need to establish and maintain a natural wetland buffer to reduce these possible alterations. Bog health is important due to the profound effect they have on the environment. Bogs can provide habitat to many rare plants, birds and mammals and they also improve air quality. Bog preservation is important for many reasons. Besides the fact that they provide habitats for many rare species, they also preserve ecological diversity. They are some of the most ecologically diverse ecosystems on earth and biological productivity depends on the health of the peat lands. Bogs also store and recharge ground water which also accumulates many needed nutrients for productivity. Nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus all can help to regulate climate and even prevent climate change. There are many reasons why we should preserve bogs, even reasons as simple as their highly valued aesthetic and recreation opportunities if properly managed for. When considering development activities to the area we need to minimize actions that will alter the water carries and how it travels.

The hydrology of the area can be tested using aquatic invertebrates as water quality indicators for many reasons. The simplest being that they are easy to collect and identify without harm to the species, or use of specialized equipment. Another reason being that most aquatic invertebrates living in these environments get oxygen directly from the water and not from the air. When an animal that requires high amounts of dissolved oxygen are not found in this area, that could indicate certain types of pollution which take dissolved oxygen out of the water are present in the water body. Due to these animals being so tiny they have low vagility, unlike fish they cannot swim away from the pollution. To my advantage, scientists have been collecting information on these species for years. We have gained knowledge as far as which species are sensitive to pollution, and more importantly which types of pollution present. We can interpret the data based on the idea that the healthy freshwater ecosystems will be very diverse and include many communities with many different species of invertebrates, all serving different roles within the ecosystem. To assess the health of this area, I will compare the total number of different species found at the site, to another site which is known to be “healthy”.

Using a reference site will allow me to analyze the data of the different species and find out the taxa richness, to then compare the Bloomingdale bog. Herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals travel far distances when they are applied, and have unknown lasting effects to many ecosystems. Using Aquatic invertebrates as a water quality indicator will allow me to analyze the restoration of past impacts to the Bloomingdale bog, how much of the natural hydrology is remaining, and predict the outcomes of increased recreation in the Glenview Preserve. Species found during this research have a wide range of tolerance to certain pollution. Some may be very tolerant, and others may not be tolerant at all. Trait information from each species can be linked to the relative sensitivity and suggests correlations between traits, sensitivity and vulnerability. The methods described in this study can be used for the selection of focal species to be included as part of further ecological scenarios and higher risk assessments occurring within the Glenview preserve. A large portion of freshwater habitats are surrounded by intensively managed or tourist based habitats. The aim of this study and research was to investigate the effects of different types of habitats regarding their long-term utilization by aquatic invertebrates. I assume that this pattern would vary over time; therefore, I will be creating a baseline which can be used to analyze the effects of management on the Glenview preserve when looking at seasonal changes which could potentially alter the abundance of individuals and types of species present. Using personal and secondary research I have been able to answer the question of how do Aquatic invertebrates act as a biological indicator of water quality and provide a baseline for determining environmental effects of increased land use within the Glenview Preserve.

Literature review

The Glenview Preserve encompasses a wide range of biological diversity and integrity which is the ability to support and maintain a balanced, integrated and adaptive community of organisms having species compositions, diversity and a functional organization that can be comparable to those of natural habitats within a certain region (Irimia 2016) . Many study’s like mine have been done and this is one reason why using this study is an important factor to assessing the bog health and predict environmental effects on the land. Many researches, scientists, ecologists, and more specifically entomologists suggest reasons to why bog health is important and why aquatic invertebrates can be used as indicators. Many similarities have been observed throughout each study used. Aquatic invertebrates are a good indicator based on the broad range of habitat requirements and sensitivities to change in water qualities, water flow, energy inputs and physical alterations. Due to this sensitive reaction to change they show an integrated effect on human impacts (Bonada 2006). Limited movement is also a common theme throughout the secondary research gathered. Limited movement means that they cannot swim or move away from the pollution within an area so there will be a decrease of intolerant species which could be used if testing annually. Ease of sampling and identification is also common throughout all the studies. Due to ease of sampling researchers or citizens can collect a fair sample size for the needed requirement to repeat any study.

First, we can look at planning for land management.  According to Govenor (2017) one of the greatest challenges land trusts face is that the conservation values we promise to protect in perpetuity are dynamic. The importance of land management and creating a baseline for future research helps to determine how to manage and steward land in Perpetuity. maintaining, restoring, protecting or conserving natural ecological processes and functions of the landscape we need to target conservation and its values (Young 2014).  Failure to do so can lead to the loss of those values which leads to loss of public support. Land management planning in areas like the Glenview Preserve and Bloomingdale bog can ensure that the conservation values of the land, and intended purpose will stay as intended. Within an ecosystem there are infinite complex interactions between species and their environment. Land management and baseline studies are critical for understanding and having a basic knowledge of the natural processes. Assessing ecosystem processes through aquatic invertebrates gives us a greater understanding of structure, function, habitat, population dynamics, and connect the environment to a set of adaptive and suitable management principles to restore and protect the Bloomingdale Bog.

The land management plan created by the Adirondack Land Trust and Nature Conservancy takes into consideration the vulnerability of peat land ecosystems. If Glenview is going to have an increase of land use, they want to establish and maintain a natural wetland buffer to reduce any possible alterations introduced by increased land use to the Bloomingdale bog. A buffer zone will help to minimize actions that will alter the natural hydrology of the area. Pollution due to developmental activities can travel far distances when they are applied, and they have many lasting effects. (ADK Land Trust)  The suggestion in the management plan protects against any pollution currently there, but the toxins that can be introduced are unknown. In a study conducted by Haukos (2016) wetland vegetative buffers were used to remove metal, nutrients, and dissolved and suspended sediments from precipitation runoff from Playa wetland. The dominant and natural hydrological processes was being degraded due to anthropogenic alterations of the landscape. The primary source of degradation was through soil accumulation of eroded and transported sediment by precipitation filling the wetland. Evaluating the effectiveness of wetland buffers in this area was collected at 10m intervals in three different buffer types. They assessed native grass, fallow cropland, and conservation reserve program. Each option tested differed in vegetation type and composition, but not in maximum percent of success. In the initial 60m of cultivated field, the buffers of every type removed over half of all the measures and found contaminants. This study suggests that with any buffer type with greater than 80% vegetation cover and 30-60m in width would help to maximize pollution removal due to some of the same contaminants we could potentially see in the Glenview preserve. This study concludes that natural wetland and vegetation buffers could be economical and effective conservation tools for wetlands. Considerations when using a wetland buffer as a way of managing an area includes the setback requirements which is a set of regulations that determine the distance between activities and protected subject. In this case aquatic ecosystems and intended areas of land use within the Glenview preserve. Certain variables need to be considered when using a natural wetland buffer for mitigation of a wetland. The effectiveness of a given buffer depends on slope of an area, vegetation type, activity introduced, and soil type. The Glenview Preserve is state owned land with a set of regulations governing the use of the land.

Setbacks or buffer strips serve various purposes. Protection of surface waters from pollution, protection from flooding and erosion, and preservation of the riparian habitat and shoreline features. Setback distances separate water bodies from potential pollution due to an increase of land use activities to the area. Based on the level of pollution each activity can introduce, 25-1,000 ft. of land must be in between the activity and targeted waterbody. There has been little research done testing the effectiveness of setback distances regarding non-point source pollution. The research trend generally is focused more towards buffer zones for the removal or prevention of non-point source pollution. A buffer zone is a natural, managed area that is used to protect an ecosystem or critical area from surrounding land uses or introduction of organic pollution (Hodikinson, 2005). Effective buffers absorb, retain, or transform pollutants and create a more favorable ecosystem and protect the natural hydrology within an aquatic ecosystem. Comparing setbacks to buffer zones, they are just the distances between the source of pollution and protected aquatic ecosystem and they are unmanaged.

Riparian buffer zones include the land adjacent and closest to the water bodies, typically used to manage larger water bodies. Again, these areas control and regulate non-point source pollution. Effectiveness of Riparian buffers with increased land use depends on the proximity to the water, and the characteristics of the surrounding water body they border. Structure and function of riparian buffer zones are determined by many different factors. Soil type, vegetation, and hydrology of the intended water body for protection. To use a Buffer zone for management it needs to be divided into 3 different zones when following the USDA guidelines. Zone 1 is the adjacent area to the water body, zone 2 is the upslope and zone 3 is the vegetated areas that are located upslope from zone 2. Separating the buffer into zones illustrates how the functioning of the buffer zone varies as the distance from the waterbody increases. Vegetation is important in all zones of the riparian buffer. Each zone exhibits its own set of Physical properties that further help to define a management practice and functioning of buffer zones. Although Buffers are used for forests, they should not be used for roadways or field roadways. Vehicles and machines will cause damage to the buffers and can introduce concentrated flows of pollution. Buffers can accumulate large amounts of sediment and nutrients. Because vegetated growth is encouraged for sediment trapping, riparian buffers are recommended to be mowed, to harvest the sediments two to three times a year (Dillaha,1989). Primary management within zone 1 is to restore and maintain native vegetation. Mowing and harvesting increase sediment flow, remove nutrients, and promote vegetation growth. Different types of vegetation have different regulations, management plans and requirements. To use a natural wetland buffer, native vegetation needs to be present near the waterbody, considerations regarding buffer zones is that they may not be a permanent storage area or pollutant sink, riparian buffers could act as a temporary storage area. Harvesting vegetation is important to enhance the long-term potential of pollution storage within riparian zones.  With increased land use comes a potential for an increase in pollution. The effects of future land use can have an impact on the chemical composition of the air quality. Anthropogenic land use and potential effects in pollution due to these activities have been greatly investigated. Land use changes occur at many scales and can have many different effects on water quality, air quality, quality of wildlife habitat, and even climate.

The EPA has concerns about different land use activities because of the potential pollution that could be introduced, and the environmental impacts this may have. Two areas of main concern that have a variety of potential threats are land development and agriculture. Land development includes the building of structures, roads, parking lots, and other factors that have the potential to contribute to non- point source pollution (Cain 1992). Non- point source pollution due to impervious surfaces mainly affect nearby aquatic ecosystems. Impervious surfaces decrease the soil coverage which limits their ability to filter the runoff. Roads, parking lots, and sidewalk surfaces contains oils, dirt, fertilizer nutrients, and many other pollutants that gets carried away by the storm runoff and delivers these pollutants to surrounding water bodies. With land development also comes increased air pollution because of increased vehicle usage. Agricultural land uses are also a main concern. Agricultural land uses can also have a huge impact on water quality. Landscape conditions of the riparian zones can be altered rapidly if grazing livestock is introduced. By reducing the vegetation in riparian zones there is a potential for an increase of water temperatures, sediment input, and nutrient levels. Increased winds along with erosion and dust is also a result of agriculture, this can expose the land to particulate matter and pollution from fertilization, agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides through wind transfer. Agriculture also has a potential of leading to an increase of invasive species. Certain land practices associated with agriculture such as the use of chemicals, livestock over grazing, land conversion, and fertilizer can enhance growth of invasive, while killing off the native species. An introduction of invasive will also reduce water quality and species diversity. Land use as described as the human use of land includes both cultural and economic activities introduced to an area. Agricultural, residential, industrial, and recreational activities can all be practiced within public and private lands, but environmental assessments need to occur to protect the natural processes of the land and prevent from potential degradation from impacts of increased land use.  Environmental assessments are an important factor of management plans. In a study conducted by Spitzer (2006) he used insect biodiversity as an environmental assessment in boreal peat bogs. Bog vulnerability makes insects valuable as bio indicators. Historical development and nature of each individual bog is reflected by the variation among their insects. Individuality throughout insect species in every bog creates a scientific interest. Each species reflects a unique bog habitat and is a biological indicator of an environmental assessment of bog health. Conservation of bog habitats should be greatly supported by entomologists in addition to their wildly distributed generalist species. The most abundant animals in bog habitats are insects that show characteristics restricted to individual bogs. Complex ecology and history can be interpreted through species composition, abundance, and useful research collected from several scientific perspectives who created a scientific standard of indices and a database of species tolerance levels to different organic pollution. General conclusions from the study conducted by Spitzer (2006) suggest that peatlands and bogs are valuable for biomonitoring and bio assessments because they make their own substrate, and they are ombrotrophic habitats, or habitats that are only supplied with precipitation water. This makes them sensitive to disturbances. Peat lands can act as a baseline to assess environmental change because of the given sensitivity yet individuality of each bog. Sensitivity to disturbances also makes the species found in the area very susceptible to alterations. This suggests that insects restricted to each environment is a valuable indictor of change within the environment. Implications to protect peat land ecosystems from changes to the natural hydrology should be taken. As previously discussed a buffer zone is a practical implication, but does not guarantee to serve as a long-term solution to the environmental impacts.

A controlled management zone as discussed in the Merced Wild management plan (2005) is an implication of land use management. Controlled management zones would enforce the number of visitors aloud to the area. This would require monitoring and result in a more controlled visitor experience within the selected area. This method could potentially benefit the visitors experience by minimizing crowding and congestion, and protecting and preserving the natural Hydrology of the bog.  As discussed previously, Insects restricted to bog environments are a valuable indictor of change and more importantly water quality. Tolerance values based on aquatic invertebrates is one of the most widely used tools for monitoring impacts of water pollution by using a wide range of taxonomic groups. In a study conducted by Latimore (2015) aquatic invertebrates are good bio indicators of stream health because they spend up to one year in this environment, they have limited mobility, they are a good indicator of localized conditions, and diversity equals a healthy stream which is an easy standard to understand. Potential threats to macroinvertebrate diversity within an ecosystem can include sedimentation, habitat loss, and organic pollution.

Collection of aquatic invertebrates is easy, and steps outlined by Latimore (2015) illustrate this. When sampling make sure to sample all habitats such as pool, riffles, and runs, make sure you have a large sample size and correctly identify to order level. Species found are separated into 3 main categories for this study.  The three groups are pollution sensitive, somewhat pollution tolerant and pollution tolerant. Group one consists of Mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, group 2 consists of dragonflies and damselflies and group 3 consists of aquatic worms and midge larvae. For research at the Bloomingdale bog the three taxonomic groups I will focus on gaining secondary research for are those in group 1. The pollution sensitive species which are Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Trichoptera (caddisflies) and plecoptera (stoneflies). Ephemeroptera larvae are extremely sensitive to oxygen depletion which makes them a valuable indicator in monitoring programs. Mayflies inhabit lentic waters such as lakes and ponds. In a study conducted by Arimoro (2007) 104 ponds were sampled in Switzerland. Although the order Ephemeroptera was well represented in water bodies found in other studies, they are poorly represented in terms of diversity. This is due to the sensitivity of the species. If one species of mayfly is not present, the study suggests that others will not be as well. This same trend was found throughout research conducted in the Bloomingdale Bog as well. In a study conducted by Chiarelli (2004) they concluded that species can vary independently over environmental gradients determined by trichoptera assemblages. In another study conducted by Pereira (2012) the influence of environmental integrity was evaluated using trichoptera samples in 20 streams in the Mato river basin. Preserved, altered and impacted environments were assessed. The index used to assess the potential of trichoptera as a bioindicator of habitat integrity was the Habitat integrity index (HII). Using this index this study suggested that there was a relationship between 6 trichoptera species of preserved conservation and two species were bio indicators of altered environments. The conclusions of this study suggested that the distribution and abundance of caddisflies are a good indicator of habitat integrity and the abundance of the species will be highest in environments with high integrity, expecting them to be most abundant in preserved environments.  Another taxonomic group is Plecoptera or stoneflies. Plecoptera are one of the most endangered groups of insects due to their sensitivity to pollution and strict ecological requirements (Fochetti, 2006). In a study conducted by Fochetti (2006) a total of 426 species were collected to determine the present diversity and conservation status of this taxa. Conclusions from this study suggested that plecopteran are highly sensitive to habitat alteration and pollution. This is what makes them a good bioindicator of water quality, but practical implications such as Biological assessments to monitor their population numbers as a species will also help us to maintain the natural hydrology of the water body they inhabit.  No single species can indicate every single type of pollution, disturbance, or stress to an area but using species just discussed, considers the specific environment, species diversity, local disturbances and uses appropriate measurements to provide an established criterion to be considered a bioindicator.


Secondary research was an important aspect in developing a solid base line study, but the research conducted in the field, lab and the method of sampling also is a huge factor for repeating the same study, and creating a baseline. Field Data was collected at a reference site which was Ampersand stream located in Saranac lake, New York and at a monitored profile, which was the Bloomingdale bog belonging to the Glenview Preserve in Saranac Lake, New York. Samples were collected both by researcher and secondary researchers to allow for large sample size, less biased data and add an aspect of citizen science to the baseline.



Data from aquatic invertebrate samples provide all the valuable information needed to create a baseline assessing the physical conditions and health of my study area. A large sample size was needed to properly assess the health of the monitored area. The total collection consisted of approximately 1,000 organisms between the two profile sites. >600 collected at the monitored site and >350 collected at the reference site.

Field work was conducted 13 times throughout course of this research. Overall 11 of those days were within the seasonality index needed to create a baseline. Data collected from 6 different collections at the Bloomingdale bog, and 5 samples collected at the reference site will be calculated into the final results for this biological assessment. 5 samples at the monitored site used single habitat and multi- habitat approach within predetermined areas (Fig 1.1) while 1 sample was collected using random quantitative sampling.  Every sample collected at the reference site used a transect method and a series of single/ multi- habitat approaches. The transect was set up with 5 reaches every 300m starting upstream and continuing downstream. To create a comprehensive assessment of the Bloomingdale bog I used various metrics and indices to interpret the macroinvertebrate samples. The Hilsenlhoff’s Biotic index (HBI) measures dissolved oxygen concentrations, which low dissolved oxygen is a result of organic pollution. To measure additional environmental impacts corresponding to sensitive macroinvertebrates I used the EPT biotic index. Using the EPT index I was able to define the water quality using the three orders that are most common in benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Tolerance values associated with Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera assumes that the greatest species richness within these taxa’s will have the highest water quality.  Percent model affinity (PMA) index was also used to measure the similarity between two different profiles. In this study the two profiles were a reference site or the known healthy stream, and the Monitored profile, or the possibly impacted area.  The PMA is a measure of species composition based on the percent abundances in each taxonomic group. The PMA correlates with the other calculated indices in this study and they work together to predict the ecological status of the subject area. By using the PMA index, we can measure the similarities between two communities and refer to them as two distinct profiles, such as impacted and reference. Using PMA to create a framework to measure the level of degradation within an impacted environment in comparison to a reference or a set standard is a main goal to create a baseline study. Results from this index using real data applications from each site will provide some suggestions for the Adirondack Land Trust and Nature Conservancy when decisions in environmental monitoring the Bloomingdale bog are made.

Sampling was done from Mid-September until the beginning of November. Seasonality is a key factor to consider while collecting. The ideal collecting time would be from march to May or from September to November. Since I collected during a time with a high abundance my results should provide a closely accurate model of the species richness found in the bog. This study is for baseline monitoring so replicate sampling was considered, additional samples can be collected at later times or in different seasons. Sampling outside of the seasonal periods is acceptable when assessing immediate impacts but for a baseline study any data collected outside of the seasonal period should be considered unacceptable.  The reference stream selected for sampling is located behind Saranac Lake High School. Based on secondary research I used a transect technique where the length of each reach was no less than 100m and no more than 300m. Large tributaries have the potential to have a great influence on sampling so therefore it is better to sample below or above them. The methods used are part of the single and multi-habitat approaches (Tjorve 2002). There methods vary somewhat among stream size and gradient due to different habitats present. Due to Variation in habitats this method was used to assess both the bog and stream health according to the variation of habitats and differences in the ecosystems. With single and multi- habitat approach it is important to keep the area intended for this study only until the sampling is complete. Creating undisturbed samples was done to the best ability. Although the bog was not monitored for disturbances during the seasonal index, it is not an area with high land use due to being located within the Glenview preserve. Throughout sampling subjects avoided walking through areas where collecting was crucial, Kick sampling was conducted to dislodge some organisms from their habitats, but this was done on a minimal scale creating the least amount of disturbance while obtaining a viable representation of species inhabiting each site.  Sample degradation could be caused if these precautions are not taken. In the healthy stream, it is more likely for sample degradation to have occurred because of its location, but a large enough sample size and high diversity was calculated by combining the habitat approach with a transect method.

Variation occurs between habitats within the reference stream and the monitored profile. Qualitative samples were collected as well as quantitative. Sampling criteria for qualitative data collected was Undercut banks from riffles, runs, pools which were sampled in both locations. Using a D- frame net, organisms were collected by dislodging them by placing the net under the roots and mats within the banks. When invertebrates were collected they were placed into a bucket and then into glass vials filled with alcohol to preserve them to later be identified in the lab. Each sample is preserved in 80% alcohol. Using this concentration will preserve the invertebrates without making them brittle. If the invertebrate is not properly preserved identification becomes difficult or impossible. Sampling took place 11 times throughout the seasonal index; species data was collected the first 2 times without taking specimen back to lab. In field identification was used to set a standard of citizen monitoring and show ease of collection and identification to the order level.  Sticks and wood were also sampled from riffles runs and pools at both locations. Conditioned or submerged wood samples were looked for as well as wood and sticks. Conditioned wood was inspected more carefully than other methods due to the diversity of burrowers that could potentially be in this habitat. Conditioned wood was only inspected if it was < 20 cm in diameter and >5 cm in diameter. The same measurement standards were used for the reference and monitored site. When all burrowers and crawlers were picked from the wood samples they were placed in vials to be preserved and used for lab identification. The wood samples were placed back where they were found to inhabit more species. Sampling for wood and sticks was suggested to be done using a kick sample although we do not want to create a disturbance to the study area this dislodges organisms to create a better sample size. Minimal disturbance occurred to obtain a collection by stirring up the organisms to separate them from drift wood and sticks rinsed off into a bucket and inspected for organisms. Leaf packs were also sampled from riffles, pools and runs of both locations. In the reference stream leaf packs were collected along the transects, 2 at each sampled reach. At the monitored site leaf packs were collected within the riffles, pools, and runs all predetermined for previous sampling. Leaf packs were placed into a bucket and rinsed off. Once the organisms were collected they were again placed into vials containing alcohol for preservation and easy identification in the lab.

The reference stream provides a unique habitat due to the headwater stream depositional area. Within the depositional area kick sampling is used to gather organisms. Capturing a variety of invertebrates within different depositional areas containing different substrates and sediment is important due to the variety of habitats. Kick sampling was repeated 5 times during each collection. This collection was sorted from the sediment using some hand sieve and forceps to sort out the invertebrates from the organic matter. Once separated the organisms were preserved for identification and the organic matter was discarded. Rock data was collected in both the headwater and wadable subject sites.  In the headwater stream macroinvertebrates were sampled from smaller rocks and a smaller sample size was collected than in the monitored wadable profile. At the reference site the rocks were chosen along the transect. Pools and edges were the main target of rocks chosen. 10 were selected at each reach resulting in 50 small rocks that were carefully inspected for aquatic invertebrates. In the monitored profile 10 small rocks were collected from areas within each predetermined site. within each area, rocks were collected from the pools where reachable and If not then the edges of the habitat. By sampling rocks along the edges of each profile we decrease the chances of any species that may have not been collected already. This is the first time the edges were sampled in this study, so we can now incorporate edge habitat into our overall method. The next methods of sampling used were only conducted at the Monitored site. Variation in sampling methods is due to the reference stream not being a wadable stream, different habitats within different environments applies back to our chosen approach of single and multi- habitat. Aufwuchs sampling method used in the pools of the Bloomingdale bog only due to wadable conditions. Wherever algae, small plants or moss were present within the predetermined collecting sites a kick sample was taken 1 meter away, towards the center of the bog. This method was repeated 2 times at each site, every time sampling occurred. After sampling, the organisms were picked out and separated from the organic matter and saved for in lab identification. Bedrock habitats were also sampled only in the Bog. Sampled in the pools of the monitored area the edge of a dip net was utilized to scrape the substrate to sample these habitats. Once collected there was little to no organic material in the net. Organisms were placed into vials for preservation and in lab identification. Many variations of single habitat and multi-habitat were conducted to create a large sample size and find ideally an accurate representation of each profile. While in the field, preparations for laboratory work were taking place. During sampling all vials received a label with necessary information. Using paper and a pencil labels including the location, date, name and identification of each species to the order level were placed inside each vial to organize data. Early September was the first time in the field. For the first two sessions collecting, aquatic invertebrates were not preserved or collected for further laboratory observations. The objective of this method was to create a citizen monitoring perspective. An NCCC alumni participated in collecting research in the field for both sessions. The citizen participating had little to no prior entomology knowledge. A brief overview of each taxa was discussed along with the importance of this research, and why we use Aquatic Invertebrates. Followed by the brief overview he was provided with a basic aquatic invertebrate identification key (fig. 1.2) and was instructed to use a random quantitative sampling technique to obtain a useful sample size. After there was a bucket full of organic matter and species, citizen carefully searched through the sample using forceps. He separated all the organisms into a white pan to make key features of organisms stand out. Use of the white pan makes species more visible and the key easier to utilize.  Organic matter was discarded once the sample was double checked by researcher and all the organisms were removed. Identification was done in the field and results were recorded by researcher and by citizen in a separate laboratory notebook to later be compared.

First, species diversity was calculated by grouping together each species. When specimen was divided into taxa, identification to the level of order was identified and recorded in both laboratory notebooks. When identification was completed a comparison of the citizen and researchers results helped to determine the effectiveness of citizen monitoring regarding a baseline study. Specimen collected for assessing citizen monitoring were placed back into sampled areas and disregarded as part of the final collection to calculate the results of study. Data was not sufficient from these collections to provide a baseline because the dates were outside of the seasonality index previously determined (Mid-September-Late November).  Collections in the monitored profile were more frequent to collect all the data needed. The last collection was completed with the help of a field method class at NCCC. This course specializes in aquatic invertebrates and creating a collection to understand how they are used as biological indictors. There were 9 students who participated in this collection, and a random quantitative sampling technique was conducted again. The method of quantitative sampling was used for the last possible collection because the seasonality index was coming to an end. The idea was to collect as many organisms, with the help of students who have different ideas and sampling techniques than the researcher. The objective was for the students to use the knowledge that they gained throughout the semester to produce a secondary sample to add to the primary collection. D- nets were used for this collection along with forceps, trays and buckets.  Random quantitative sampling techniques proposed by secondary researchers within the same monitored profile decreases the chances of having biased data in the final results. The data and organisms collected by secondary researchers was included in final results. Each organism was placed in a vial, preserved in alcohol and labeled for further laboratory analysis.


Organisms were brought back to the Laboratory after all field work was complete. Since Labeling and identification was attempted in the field, each sample needed to be re-evaluated to ensure everything was identified correctly down the order of the species. Once everything was correctly labeled, identified, and counted based upon each site, a statistical analysis using EPT index, HBI index PMA index, species richness, species diversity, and tolerance values was calculated to assess the health of both profiles. Using these indices and secondary literature research, a baseline has been created and made easy to be replicated for future ideas of land use within the Glenview Preserve. Secondary literature research will provide suggestions to protect the Bloomingdale bog from potential organic pollution due to increased land use. Feasible Recommendations arose through secondary research, field work, and laboratory results.




1,000 organisms were collected belonging to 11 families. 18 species were identified and Odonata was the most abundant (247 individuals). Species richness at the monitored site was 13 which indicated that this site is moderately impacted (species richness 12-16 =moderately impacted) EPT taxa was found to be 279 at the monitored site, which resulted in EPT index of 46%. This concludes that the site is non-impacted regarding EPT richness. HBI index of monitored profile = 3.95. This determined very good water quality where possible slight organic pollution is still a possibility. Although the reference stream was chosen the reference stream knowing the condition, indices were calculated to compare. Species richness at the Reference site was 18 which indicated that this site is slightly impacted (species richness 12-18=slightly impacted) differences in index used due to differences in water habitats.  EPT taxa was found to be 250 at the reference site, which resulted in EPT index of 63%. This concludes that the site is non-impacted regarding EPT richness. HBI index of monitored profile = 3.5. This concluded that organic pollution is unlikely and water quality indicates excellent. Percent model affinity was calculated for the kick samples. In the monitored stream and in the reference stream PMA statistical analyses both concluded in non-impacted results. Results from citizen monitoring suggested that this research is replicable and efficient. Citizen monitoring is an important aspect of creating a baseline due to easy repetition and identification to collect data.


The purpose of this study was to provide an evidence based mindset to the Adirondack land trust which can provide suggestions to best favor both the land management plan and the natural state of the land. This study concluded that the Bloomingdale bog is non-impacted and there is no possible organic pollution to the area. A buffer zone is currently in place, but a buffer is a great test of stewardship due to the level of upkeep it requires. Extending off the buffer that is currently in place, the Adirondack land trust should consider three different zones. Zone 1 would be the land adjacent to the water body.  Zone 1 would serve the purpose of bank stabilization by providing shade and food sources. Recommendations within zone 1 would be to plant flood tolerant trees. Planting this vegetation will help to shade the water, keeping temperatures cool. When the temperatures are colder this prevents any algae growth to the area that could take oxygen from the water. Algae cannot grow in low temperatures so in favor we will not deplete the oxygen levels and more intolerant species can survive. Planting vegetation can also provide food for aquatic invertebrate species. Planting native vegetation will allow them to fall into the bog providing food, and even habitat. Zone 1 could also serve a purpose of maintaining bank integrity. Many species could not be present due to lack of habitat, such as species that are burrowers or crawlers. To maintain bank integrity, we could decrease the amount of unnecessary treading or trampling along these areas of the bog. This will also benefit other wildlife species as well if they inhabit den sites within the banks of this wetland.  Zone 2 would be a managed forest area located upslope from zone 1. This would serve a purpose of absorbing ant excess nutrients, so they do not proceed to the bog or zone 1. Recommendations for this area could be to plant a diverse variation of native trees and shrubs to increase the structural diversity. Planting a diverse variation such as fruiting, or pollinator plants could also benefit wildlife within this zone.  Zone 3 would function in slowing runoff and trapping sediment. This zone would be the vegetated area upslope from zone 2. It would consist of grassland, and wildflowers. A consideration within this zone would be mowing the area periodically to upkeep the grassy patch, and prevent any chance of it becoming over grown with unwanted plants or shrubs. Mowing should not be done from April to July because this would highly impact the species inhabiting the grasslands. Buffer zones would be a huge test of stewardship as a community because of the level of maintenance.  This could serve as a potential project for students of Paul Smiths and North Country Community College to offer as a work study, or even an internship within the seasonality index of the study. Using aquatic invertebrates as biological indicators to analyze the progress of the buffer annually, based on the alterations of the land will help to maintain the natural state of this wetland. If properly managed by the Adirondack Land Trust, the buffer will intercept the pollutants brought by the increased land use and can enhance wildlife and protect the quality and biodiversity of the Bloomingdale bog.


Data collected from research suggests that the Bloomingdale bog is Non- Impacted. Biological Indices used suggest that the area still contains its natural hydrology although looking at species richness we can see that there is still potential that there is organic pollution present. Using a reference stream allowed us to compare the species diversity and richness to bring us to this conclusion. Although there is not organic pollution in this area now, increased land use in the Glenview preserve could introduce many pollutants from agriculture, logging maple sugaring and creating roads and trails. With the information from this baseline management plans can be placed to ensure the health of the Bog will not be degraded. Conclusions made from citizen monitoring suggested that this is an important aspect of this baseline. Results showed that proper identification is feasible with just the use of a simple key and no prior entomology knowledge. Citizen monitoring concludes that this baseline study is repeatable and efficient.


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