Dr. Brad Taylor Dartmouth College Biological Sciences Hanover, NH 03755 Phone: 603-646-1525; E-mail: [email protected]
By the end of this course, you should: -be able to identify aquatic invertebrates to genus and use invertebrates to ask ecological or conservation questions. -understand the phylogeny, life histories, behaviors, trophic importance, adaptations to life in water, and conservation significance of aquatic invertebrates. -be familiar with methods for measuring invertebrate density, biomass, and diversity. -be able to use invertebrate bioassessment protocols to test for environmental impacts. -know that aquatic invertebrate ecology isn’t rocket science - it’s harder and more fun!
20% lectures, 40% field trips, and 40% field & lab identifying and collecting.
Take home final: 20% (Focusing on topics covered in lecture, lab, and the field) Collection and Project: 50% (voucher collection of invertebrates identified to genus and a paper) 5 Quizzes: 15% (Sight identification of taxa and unique traits) Lab Practical: 20% (Sight identification of taxa to family level)
You will use the invertebrates you collect and identify as part of your invertebrate collection and to answer an ecological or conservation oriented question. You are required to turn in a
that describes the project in a standard scientific format, with appropriate graphs, tables, and references. In addition, you are required to turn in a
(representative specimens of the taxa, identified to
, that you find at each site). The collection will be an important product from the course demonstrating your mastering of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy, and the paper will demonstrate your ability to synthesize and interpret ecological data using invertebrates. More detailed instructions on the collection and papers will be provided, and I will work with you to develop field methods and provide additional handouts with directions on how to do the appropriate data analyses, find relevant references, etc. Potential group projects include, but are not limited to: Investigating possible changes due to climate, land use, etc. of the distribution of aquatic invertebrates along an elevation gradient in Cement Creek, Colorado, the site of a classic study done 35 year ago. Also, their are a number of current and pending changes in the area (e.g., mines, land development, ski area water extraction, dams, etc.) that would be good topics for a biomonitoring project investigating possible effects on the ecosystem and water quality of a local stream(s), pond(s), or wetland(s). I am receptive to any other feasible project ideas as well.
Labs are scheduled in the afternoons when rain and thunderstorms typically occur at RMBL. Each lab session will start with a short (15 minute) introduction of characters used to identify various taxa, and demonstrations of difficult morphological characters using local taxa will be provided. You will use microscopes to identify taxa during the remainder of the lab, and I will assist with identification and difficult characters (on the invertebrates). There will also be an optional overnight camping and collecting trip to a fun and interesting aquatic place.
Ward, J.V., B.C. Kondratieff, R.E. Zuellig. 2002. An Illustrated Guide to the Mountain Stream Insects of Colorado. University of Colorado Press, Boulder, USA (~$19.95). Other taxonomic keys will be provided to supplement Ward et al., but students will not be required to purchase these.
A packet of supplies (vials, boots or waders, and the textbook), is available in the Gothic Store, if you would like to purchase the textbook somewhere else or have your own boots please let me know. Other supplies for the course will be provided by RMBL.
Collecting trips will involve hiking at high elevations (>9000 ft) sampling in cold streams, wetlands, and ponds. On days that we are in the field, we will eat a sack lunch from the dining hall. Students are encouraged to bring hip waders or purchase lightweight stockingfoot waders (Cabela's Three Forks™ Stockingfoot Hip Wader, Item:XG-830085, Price $34.95), which must be worn with old sneakers or short rubber boots. Please email your shoe size and we will order these. Students should bring a raincoat, a warm wool or synthetic-fiber sweater, daypack, water bottles, and plenty of extra socks – we’ll get our feet wet!
● rubber boots or Cabela’s lightweight stockingfoot waders,
you send an email to me with their shoe size. (e.g., Cabela's Three Forks™ Stockingfoot Hip Wader, Item:XG 830085, www.cabelas.com). ● 50 scintillation vials. ● Ward, J.V., B.C. Kondratieff, R.E. Zuellig. 2002. An Illustrated Guide to the Mountain Stream Insects of Colorado. University of Colorado Press, Boulder, USA.
you email me stating you have found another source. ● 1 pair soft forceps (Bioquip Featherweight forceps, Item: 4750, www.bioquip.com) ● 1 pair hard forceps (Bioquip Featherweight forceps, Item: 4531, www.bioquip.com)
Subject to change depending on weather.
0815 – Lecture: Introduction to aquatic invertebrates and their habitats (Phylogeny, origins, and evolution of aquatic invertebrates) 1015 – Local field trip: Invertebrate sampling for project and collection (East River and Copper Creek and Bellview ponds) 1315 – Lab: Process samples from field trip and learn the aquatic insect orders
0815 – Lecture: Problems and solutions to living in water: (morphology, physiology, osmoregulation, respiration, sensory system) 1015 – Local field trip: Invertebrate sampling and collecting for project and collection *Bring a sack lunch 1515 – Lab: Process samples from field trip, work on collection, and learn Ephemeroptera (Mayflies) and Plecoptera (Stoneflies) families
0815 – Lecture: Aquatic invertebrate life histories (life cycles, mating, diapause, emergence, oviposition) 1015 – Local field trip: Invertebrate sampling for project and collection *Bring a sack lunch 1415 – Lab: Process samples from field trip, work on collections, and learn Odonata (dragon and damselflies) and Hemiptera (true bugs) families
0815 – Lecture: Aquatic invertebrate behavior (feeding behavior, defensive behavior, parasites & pathogen alteration of behavior, dispersal behavior) 1015 – Local field trip: Invertebrate sampling for project and collection *Bring a sack lunch 1415 – Lab: Process samples from field trip and learn Trichoptera (Caddisflies) and Coleoptera (Beetles) families
0815 – Lecture: Using invertebrates for biological assessment and as indicator organisms (Motivation, theory, and methods; computer lab to calculate indices and estimate species diversity by rarefaction) 1000 – Local field trip: Invertebrate sampling for project and collection *Bring a sack lunch 1315 – Lab: Process samples from field trip, work on collections, and learn Diptera (true flies) and aquatic Lepidoptera (moths), and Neuroptera (spongilla flies) and Megaloptera families (Dobson flies)
0815 – Lecture: Conservation of freshwater invertebrates and linkages between terrestrial and aquatic food webs 1000 – Local field trip: Sampling and collecting of hyporheic invertebrates 1315 – Lab: Process samples from field trip and work on collections, and learn Other taxa (Worms, Leeches, Water Mites, Crustacea, Molluscs)
0815 – Lecture: Guest lecture 1000 – Work on project and collections 1315 – Work on collections
0815 – Written: comprehensive exam 1415 – Practical: Sight identification of insect orders and families End-of-class social and aquatic invertebrate charades!