Presentation Title

Acid Mine Drainage and Macroinvertebrate Communities in the Southern West Virginia Coalfields

Presentation Type

Poster

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Environmental Studies

Mentor

Denise Burchsted

Date & Time

April 9th at 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Location

L. P. Young Student Center, West Dining and Flag Room

Abstract

Impacts of Acid Mine Drainage on Macroinvertebrate Communities in the South West Virginia Coalfields

This research examines the impact of acid mine drainage on aquatic ecosystems. To examine this impact, we compared the assemblage of aquatic organisms in rivers impacted and un-impacted by mine drainage inputs. The data from the un-impacted sites will consist of data collected from one site from this study, and from existing data sets from previous studies. Research will be conducted into the existing literature to find an appropriate data set. The target organisms in this study are macroinvertebrates—organisms such as aquatic insects, crustaceans, and worms—which are commonly used as biomonitors of river health due to their small size, ease of sampling, limited range of movement, and wide range of environmental sensitivity that depends on the type of organism. For each sample, the types of identified organisms and the number found for each type will be tracked. These results will be maintained in an Excel spreadsheet and then will be input into the R statistical package for analysis. Within R, the identified organisms in each sample will be summarized according to richness, diversity, and total numbers of individuals. The results will be further interpreted to assess ecological health using measures such as percentage of sensitive insects. These results will be compared for samples impacted and un-impacted by mine drainage inputs.

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Apr 9th, 4:15 PM

Acid Mine Drainage and Macroinvertebrate Communities in the Southern West Virginia Coalfields

L. P. Young Student Center, West Dining and Flag Room

Impacts of Acid Mine Drainage on Macroinvertebrate Communities in the South West Virginia Coalfields

This research examines the impact of acid mine drainage on aquatic ecosystems. To examine this impact, we compared the assemblage of aquatic organisms in rivers impacted and un-impacted by mine drainage inputs. The data from the un-impacted sites will consist of data collected from one site from this study, and from existing data sets from previous studies. Research will be conducted into the existing literature to find an appropriate data set. The target organisms in this study are macroinvertebrates—organisms such as aquatic insects, crustaceans, and worms—which are commonly used as biomonitors of river health due to their small size, ease of sampling, limited range of movement, and wide range of environmental sensitivity that depends on the type of organism. For each sample, the types of identified organisms and the number found for each type will be tracked. These results will be maintained in an Excel spreadsheet and then will be input into the R statistical package for analysis. Within R, the identified organisms in each sample will be summarized according to richness, diversity, and total numbers of individuals. The results will be further interpreted to assess ecological health using measures such as percentage of sensitive insects. These results will be compared for samples impacted and un-impacted by mine drainage inputs.