Mill River, Smith College, Macroinvertebrates, Functional Feeding Groups, Weather, Precipitation, Climate Change
Climate change is a pervasive issue that has the potential to have detrimental effects on many freshwater organisms and their habitats. Fluctuations in precipitation, changes in temperature, and other long-term shifts in weather patterns are just a few examples of the ways in which climate change is impacting the world around us (“What is Climate Change?” n.d.). The Mill River in Northampton, Massachusetts is an ideal location to measure some of these impacts on macroinvertebrates in various functional feeding groups. Macroinvertebrates are small organisms that lack an internal skeletal system, and their functional feeding groups refer to “the type of food resource that a particular species utilizes” (Stumpf et al. 2009.). A study by Kim et al. (2017) studied the effects of rainfall intensity on macroinvertebrates in a mountain stream in Korea, where summer monsoons occur frequently. After collecting data for three days, it was found that the rainfall’s intensity (more than frequency) affected the species richness and abundance of the macroinvertebrates inhabiting the stream (Kim et al. 2017). Their existence is essential in being able to understand the ecology of aquatic ecosystems, so understanding how precipitation impacts their population size is important in beginning to understand the effect of climate change on these spaces (Hauer and Resh 2017). In our study, we will specifically explore the question, “How does precipitation affect the abundance of different functional feeding groups in Mill River?”
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© the Authors
Gottfried, Malika; Kim, Laura; and Zuccala, Sophia, "Will Populations of Macroinvertebrate Functional Feeding Groups Survive Precipitation Changes?" (2023). Class Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.