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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #433720

Research Project: Using Invertebrate Ecology and Isotope Tracers to Inform Wetland-Stream Connectivity on the Delmarva Peninsula

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-029-25-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 25, 2017
End Date: Nov 30, 2018

Objective:
1. Categorize invertebrate species by wetland and stream habitat resources used over their life cycle. 2. Measure isotopic ratios in individuals of the above species in relation to their habitat usage. 3. Characterize invertebrate trait assemblages associated with differences in use of freshwater habitats on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Approach:
Objective 1. Categorize invertebrate species by wetland and stream habitat resources used over their life cycle. Three regions on the Delmarva Peninsula will be sampled: 1) Jackson Lane Preserve, 2) Baltimore Corners, and 3) Chester River Field Research Station. Within each region, paired wetland and stream habitats will be identified (UMD, in collaboration with USDA and USEPA) and sampled using standardized protocols (e.g. Culler et al. 2014) (UMD). Sample collection will occur at six key time periods related to the hydrology and connection of wetlands and streams: 1) during fall when wetlands are dry but streams flow, 2) during winter as wetlands fill, 3+4) during early and late spring when reproduction occurs, and 5+6) during early and late summer as the wetlands dry. Samples will be processed to count and collect species likely to fit into the categories described above (UMD). Taxanomic orders will include Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera (family Chironomidae), and Malacostraca: Amphipoda and Isopoda. Target individuals will be barcoded to relate immatures with adults, and to separate cryptic species (UMD). Objective 2. Measure stable isotopic ratios in individuals of the above species in relation to their habitat usage. After identification, samples will be sent to EPA’s Western Ecology Lab in Corvallis, OR, for isotope analysis (EPA). The results of isotopic analysis will be used to classify species according to habitat usage and movement behaviors (categories A-E above) (EPA, in collaboration with UMD and USDA). Objective 3: Characterize invertebrate trait assemblages associated with differences in use of freshwater habitats on the Delmarva Peninsula. Species’ traits that are hypothesized to be associated with niche breadth and dispersal/migration will be quantified from samples or available traits databases and modeled using regression analysis (random forest and GLM algorithms) to predict observed species’ habitat usage and movement behavior. (EPA, in collaboration with UMD) The Location is engaged in research including (insert research programs). Under the authority of 7 USC 3319a, ARS desires to acquire goods and personnel services from the Cooperator to further agricultural research supporting the independent interests of both parties. This Agreement serves as an order for services to be funded on an annual basis.