Using bioindicators to develop a calibrated index of regional ecological integrity for forested headwater ecosystemsEPA Grant Number: R825866
Title: Using bioindicators to develop a calibrated index of regional ecological integrity for forested headwater ecosystems
Investigators: Brooks, Robert P. , Master, Terry L. , Mulvihill, Robert S.
Current Investigators: Brooks, Robert P. , Laubscher, Susan E. , Master, Terry L. , Mulvihill, Robert S. , OConnell, Timothy J.
Institution: Pennsylvania State University , East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania , Powdermill Nature Reserve
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: June 1, 1998 through May 31, 2001 (Extended to September 30, 2002)
Project Amount: $850,000
RFA: Ecosystem Indicators (1997) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Ecosystems
Description:We propose to use three integrative bioindicators to develop an index of regional ecological integrity for forested riparian ecosystems: 1) avian productivity, primarily for the Louisiana waterthrush, 2) macroinvertebrate communities, and 3) avian communities. Previous studies suggest that each of these bioindicators is directly related to the ecological condition of its associated habitat components at one or more scales (e.g., in-stream conditions, riparian habitat, and landscape patterns). Two of these bioindicators, macroinvertebrate and avian communities, have become established as useful predictors of instream conditions and landscape pattern, respectively. The third bioindicator, Louisiana waterthrush productivity, density, and abundance, provides a means to link the other two, and is the primary focus of this study.
Objectives:We hypothesize that differences in a series of population, community, or habitat measures will discriminate, in a predictable way, between reference and impacted sites across multiple scales, and that the observed differences will be consistent across a regional gradient. From this intensive work, more easily measured indicators can be combined reliably into an index of regional ecological integrity for forested riparian ecosystems.