Title: Benthic Macroinvertebrates as Biological Indicators in North Dakota Lakes

Focus Categories: Water Quality, Ecology, Wetlands

Project No. ND94-03

Principal Investigator:
                    M. B. Butler - Department of Zoology, NDSU

Completion Report

Butler, M.G., Benthic Macroinvertebrates as Biological Indicators in North Dakota Lakes, 1997 Rept. No. ND94-03, North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute, North Dakota State University, Fargo, 32 pages.

Other Publications

Articles in Refereed Scientific Journals

Kiknadze, I.I, M.G. Butler, K.G. Aimanova, E.N. Andreeva, J. Martin, and L.I. Ginderina. Divergent Cytogenetic Evolution In Nearctic and Palearctic Populations Of Sibling Species In Chironomus (Camptochironomus) Kieffer. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76:361-376. 

Butler, M.G., R.L. Rezanka, and K.M. Giovannielli. In press. Utility Of Species-Level Identification Of Chironomus Larvae In Biological Assessment Of Prairie Lakes. Proceedings of the International Association for Theoretical and Applied Limnology 27:xx-xx. 

Butler, M.G., I.I. Kiknadze, V.V. Golygina, J. Martin, A.G. Istomina, W.F. Wuelker, J.E. Sublette, and M.E. Sublette. In press. Cytogenetic Differentiation Between Palearctic and Nearctic Populations Of Chironomus plumosus L. (Diptera, Chironomidae). Genome 42: xx-xx.  

Rezanka, Richard L., 1998, Benthic Macroinvertebrates as Biological Indicators in North Dakota Lakes,“M.S. Thesis,” Department of Zoology, North Dakota State University, 85 pages.

Giovannielli, K., M. Butler and R. Rezanka, Assessing Water Quality in North Dakota Lakes using Benthic Macroinvertebrates, in Proceedings of the Fifth Biennial North Dakota Water Quality Symposium, B.D. Seelig, ed. NDSU Extension Service, pp. 99-106.

Significant Findings

It was learned that North Dakota lakes have a simple and fairly uniform benthic invertebrate community, dominated by three genera of dipteran larvae that are tolerant of hypoxic conditions. The eight species of the predominant genus Chironomus were distributed among lakes along a gradient related to both relative depth and summer oxygen levels. Unlike deeper stratified lakes, where variations in the composition of the benthic fauna have been closely linked to lake productivity variables via both food and oxygen requirements, the fauna of these prairie lakes is highly dependent on basin shape and exposure to wind-mixing. Thus interpretation of “water quality” conditions from benthic macroinvertebrates must be made in the context of lake morphometry as well as trophic variables.