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Refining a kick sampling strategy for the bioassessment of benthic macroinvertebrates in headwater streams

Feeley, Hugh, Woods, Martina, Baars, Jan-Robert and Kelly-Quinn, Mary 2012. Refining a kick sampling strategy for the bioassessment of benthic macroinvertebrates in headwater streams. Hydrobiologia 683 (1) , pp. 53-68. 10.1007/s10750-011-0940-9

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Small headwater streams constitute a large proportion of the river channel network in many parts of the world. In this study, two multihabitat kick sampling methods (60-second and 20-second) were compared across 10 small headwater streams in the southwest and east of Ireland in spring and summer 2009 to determine the influence of sampling on various benthic macroinvertebrates in headwater streams. The performance of each method, over time and replication, was examined using a range of benthic macroinvertebrate metrics, as well as the community composition and structure recorded by both methods. The ability to recruit taxa, as well as the field sampling and laboratory processing effort required for each method, was also assessed. Results indicated that both kick sampling methods generally recorded similar metric scores with the exception of taxonomic richness (t = 180 s and n = 9 replicates test) where the 20-second kicks consistently out preformed those calculated for the 60-second kicks. All other metrics compared generally performed equally as well regardless of the method used. Multivariate analysis of macroinvertebrate community assemblage, using SIMPROF, RELATE and CS-SMC analyses, further highlighted the high similarity in the macroinvertebrate assemblage recorded between both methods. Finally, the 20-second kicks recruited taxa as efficiently as 60-second kicks samples so long as replication was equal but required less sampling effort (NSE) and processing time. Therefore, the shorter 20-second kicks can be used to assess the ecological health of headwater streams, provided that adequate replication is adopted, resulting in significant effort, cost and time savings.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Publisher: SpringerLink
ISSN: 0018-8158
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:48

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