P.O. Box 54, Manhattan, MT 59741
Lab: 120 S. 5th St, Manhattan, MT 59741
Phone: 406-282-0050, Mobile: 406-570-4236
brett@rivercontinuum.org

Ecological Research Presentations

Staying current in ecological research requires interacting with the scientific community. Many of my most interesting Research presentations are listed in the column to the right. I, and my partners, are actively involved in solving complicated ecological sampling issues. When you choose to work with us, you may ask to have your project presented a scientific meeting; providing feedback from other ecologists, and ultimately, validation that our work is scientifically defensible.

I encourage clients to attend these meetings whenever possible!

Information from an Ecological Research Presentation

Abundance of scrapers as compared to shredders as compared to the density of nuisance algae

The effects of a nuisance algae on Shredders and Scrapers

Without the proper sampling design, this trend would not have been detectable. Ensure you get the most out of your data: contact us before you start collecting data. Even well established invertebrate contract laboratories would have blown this study by recommending overly simple sample designs (personal contact). By the way, this study design did NOT increase the budget of the study--just the usefulness of the data.

Some of the Research Presentations from River Continuum Concepts and Our Partners

Relationships Among Biofilm Density and Macroinertebrates Communities in a System Influenced by Didymosphenia geminata Blooms

Didymosphenia geminata is a diatom native to the northern hemisphere. It recently changed its growth pattern circum-globally, forming dense mats of mucilaginous material. The conspicuousness of the previously cryptic algae has caused concern among ecologists and recreationalists.

Errors Associated with "Best-Value" Reference Criteria in Montana's Rapid Bioassessment Protocols.

When I moved to Montana in 1999, I found that the use of reference criteria for Montana's rapid bioassessment protocols was indefensible. Consultants that wanted to make site-specific recommendations, but didn't know how to do design studies made very bad assumptions to try to make their data tell them things that their data were never designed to do. I reviewed over 300 reports on ecological monitoring conducted between 1992 and 2002. and found that nearly 80% of them used invalid reference criteria.

Effects of Riparian Status on Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assemblages Along an Urban Gradient in Southeastern Pennsylvania, USA

A common method of restoration is to restore the riparian community. This idea is supported by the river continuum concept because small streams are highly dependent on the riparian community--for several reasons. However, we found that in urban streams, the riparian forests provided little benefit. Other management strategies--such as flow mediation--would have to be implemented before the benefits of reforestation could be realized.

Food Web Systematics in Urban Streams: Stable Isotope Variations

As part of a study in SE Pennsylvania, paired forested and meadow reaches of 10 streams across an urban gradient were sampled for components of the aquatic food web. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope compositions and biochemical analyses were used to determine the quality/sources of food and trophic interactions.

Perspectives on Statistical Power Analysis to Evaluate the Sensitivity of Metrics Used in Multimetric Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBPs)

Power Analysis can be used to define bioassessment goals as well and biomonitoring goals. Most investigators that have used power analysis in bioassessment development over-estimated power because they use a design that is different from the one used in the APPLICATION of bioassessment.

Application of Statistical Power Analysis for Scaling and Scoring Metrics for Multimetric Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBPs)

Additional information on the use of power analysis to correctly define biomonitoring goals and insure correct application of bioassessment.

With-in Site Variation of Macroinvertebrate Metrics and Biocriteria from Streams in Sublette County, Wyoming

Within site variation is an often overlooked aspect of bioassessment even though we know that streams vary spatially and temporally. we found that streams in Sublette County could be classified as good, fair, or poor, depending on where the randomized samples were collected from.

Salmonid Whirling Disease Severity and Assemblages of Chironomidae (Diptera)

Whirling Disease (WD) is a disorder in salmonids caused by the myxozoan parasite, Myxobolus cerebralis, which has a complex two host lifecycle, involving salmonids and the oligochaete, Tubifex tubifex. Methods are needed to predict areas where WD is likely to spread and its subsequent severity.