Project Title

DEVELOPING AN AMPHIBIAN INDEX OF BIOTIC INTEGRITY AND VALIDATING A RAPID ASSESSMENT METHOD FOR KENTUCKY’S WETLANDS

Major

Biology

Department

Biological Sciences

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Stephen C. Richter

Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

In the past century, Kentucky has lost more than 80% of its wetlands; and because state-wide monitoring is historically minimal, this number is likely underestimated. The Kentucky Division of Water, with Eastern Kentucky University, and a technical working group, developed a rapid wetland assessment method (i.e. KY-WRAM) to assess wetland quality, and aid in establishing mitigation levels and long-term monitoring. Validation of the KY-WRAM’s ability to reflect wetland condition will include intensive biotic assessments of amphibian, plant, and bird communities. Wetland and amphibian surveys for the 2014 season were conducted at 20 riverine wetlands in the Kentucky River basin in Central Kentucky. For the 20 wetlands surveyed via dip-netting and minnow-trapping, four were low quality, thirteen were medium quality and three were high quality. We used linear regression modeling to determine if species occurrence correlated to KY-WRAM scores, or to individual metrics. Results indicated presence of six species significantly correlated to KY-WRAM scores. Additionally, species richness was significantly and positively related to KY-WRAM score (p

Presentation format

Poster

Poster Number

03

Share

COinS
 

DEVELOPING AN AMPHIBIAN INDEX OF BIOTIC INTEGRITY AND VALIDATING A RAPID ASSESSMENT METHOD FOR KENTUCKY’S WETLANDS

In the past century, Kentucky has lost more than 80% of its wetlands; and because state-wide monitoring is historically minimal, this number is likely underestimated. The Kentucky Division of Water, with Eastern Kentucky University, and a technical working group, developed a rapid wetland assessment method (i.e. KY-WRAM) to assess wetland quality, and aid in establishing mitigation levels and long-term monitoring. Validation of the KY-WRAM’s ability to reflect wetland condition will include intensive biotic assessments of amphibian, plant, and bird communities. Wetland and amphibian surveys for the 2014 season were conducted at 20 riverine wetlands in the Kentucky River basin in Central Kentucky. For the 20 wetlands surveyed via dip-netting and minnow-trapping, four were low quality, thirteen were medium quality and three were high quality. We used linear regression modeling to determine if species occurrence correlated to KY-WRAM scores, or to individual metrics. Results indicated presence of six species significantly correlated to KY-WRAM scores. Additionally, species richness was significantly and positively related to KY-WRAM score (p