The Effects on Aquatic Benthic Macroinvertebrates of a Well Buffered Versus a Weakly Buffered Stream, with Special Emphasis on Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera
Hart, Cheryl M.
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Surber samples for benthic macroinvertebrates were taken from Tabcat and Twenty Mile Streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Water chemistry samples were also taken and analyzed. Due to Tabcat's bedrock geology of limestone and dolomite and its high alkalinity, it has a buffering capacity not found in Twenty Mile. This buffering capacity makes it resistant to depressions in pH during storm events. Differences in diversity, evenness, and numbers of organisms were not observed for the three orders emphasized (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera). However, if the streams total communities are compared, a difference is seen in total numbers and the number of taxa appearing in each stream. Tabcat's only major difference from Twenty Mile is that of bedrock geology. Tabcat was found to contain more taxa and twice as many organisms than Twenty Mile.