Columbus, OH, United States
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Loughman Z.J.,West Liberty University | Welsh S.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Thoma R.F.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute
Zootaxa | Year: 2017

Cambarus (Cambarus) appalachiensis is a stream-dwelling crayfish endemic to the greater New River basins of Virginia and West Virginia. The new species is morphologically most similar to Cambarus sciotensis. Cambarus appalachiensis can be differentiated from C. sciotensis by its more elongated chelae which possess a single mesial row of tubercles, reduced to no tuberculation on the dorsal-longitudinal ridge of the dactyl, and reduced lateral impression. Cambarus sciotensis has a more subrectangular chelae with two rows of mesial margin tubercles on the chelae, as well as both a pronounced dorsal-longitudinal ridge and pronounced lateral impression. Several chelae meristic ratios also differentiate C. appalachiensis from C. sciotensis. Within the New, Gauley, and lower portions of the Greenbrier basins C. appalachiensis is the dominant tertiary burrowing Cambarus species, and as such, is considered stable across its range. © 2017 Magnolia Press.


Poikane S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Zampoukas N.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Borja A.,Tecnalia | Davies S.P.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2014

The Water Framework Directive requires that European Union (EU) Member States ensure that their surface waters are in at least good ecological status by 2015 or at the latest by 2027. The good ecological status objective has been described and operationally defined in the Water Framework Directive. Member States develop their own ecological assessment methods but they must demonstrate that their methods and resulting classifications are comparable to other Member States across the EU. Comparability of assessment results is determined through an intercalibration exercise, the subject of this article. In 2013 The European Commission issued an updated Commission Decision on the results of intercalibration of assessment results across Europe. We present an overview of the process, discuss critical issues and good practices, and recommend approaches for a successful completion of the exercise. © 2014 The Authors.


PubMed | University of Georgia, Savannah River National Laboratory, University of Georgias Savannah River Ecological Laboratory, Midwest Biodiversity Institute and Auburn University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental management | Year: 2016

A macroinvertebrate multimetric index is an effective tool for assessing the biological integrity of streams. However, data collected under a single protocol may not be available for an entire region. We sampled macroinvertebrates from the full extent of the Sand Hills ecoregion Level IV of the Southeastern Plains with a standard protocol during the summers of 2010-2012. We evaluated the performance of 94 metrics through a series of screening criteria and built 48 macroinvertebrate multimetric indexs with combinations of the best performing metrics, representing richness, habit, functional feeding guild, sensitivity, and community composition. A series of narrative-response tests for each macroinvertebrate multimetric index was used to find the best performing macroinvertebrate multimetric index which we called the Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index. The Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index consisted of the measures Biotic Index, % Shredder taxa, Clinger taxa(2)/total taxa, Plecoptera and Trichoptera richness, and Tanytarsini taxa(2)/Chironomidae taxa. Comparison of the Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index with existing assessment tools calculated with our data indicated that the Sand Hills macroinvertebrate multimetric index performs at a high level with regard to identifying degraded sites and in its response to stress gradients.


Thoma R.F.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | Loughman Z.J.,West Liberty University | Fetzner J.W.,Jr.
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Cambarus (Puncticambarus) callainus, new species, is a stream-dwelling crayfish endemic to the Big Sandy River basin in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Within the basin, C. callainus occurs in the Levisa, Tug, and Russell fork watersheds. The new species is morphologically and genetically most similar to Cambarus veteranus, which is endemic to the Upper Guyandotte River basin of West Virginia. The new species can be differentiated from C. veteranus by its more lanceolate rostrum (width less than 50% length), slightly more obtuse suborbital angle, and less well-defined lateral impression at the base of the chelae. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.


PubMed | Carnegie Museum of Natural History, West Liberty University, Denison University and Midwest Biodiversity Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new species of burrowing crayfish, Cambarus (Jugicambarus) adustus, is described from Lewis County in northeastern Kentucky, USA. The new species is most similar morphologically to C. dubius. Cambarus adustus coloration differs from C. dubius by lacking red, orange and blue hues, and instead is brown over the entire body surface. Morphological differences between C. dubius and C. adustus exist in the form I male gonopod, with C. adustus possessing a caudal knob, while C. dubius does not. In addition, the lateral carapace of C. adustus is distinctly tuberculate, whereas in C. dubius the carapace lacks extensive tuberculation. Cambarus (J.) adustus appears to have an extremely small geographic range (~19.5 km2), and as such we suggest its consideration for both state and federal levels of protection.


Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey | Fennessy M.S.,Kenyon College | Mack J.,Cleveland Metroparks | Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute
Wetlands | Year: 2013

A persistent question among ecologists and environmental managers is whether constructed wetlands are structurally or functionally equivalent to naturally occurring wetlands. We examined 19 variables collected from 10 constructed and nine natural emergent wetlands in Ohio, USA. Our primary objective was to identify candidate indicators of wetland class (natural or constructed), based on measurements of soil properties and an index of vegetation integrity, that can be used to track the progress of constructed wetlands toward a natural state. The method of nearest shrunken centroids was used to find a subset of variables that would serve as the best classifiers of wetland class, and error rate was calculated using a five-fold cross-validation procedure. The shrunken differences of percent total organic carbon (% TOC) and percent dry weight of the soil exhibited the greatest distances from the overall centroid. Classification based on these two variables yielded a misclassification rate of 11 % based on cross-validation. Our results indicate that % TOC and percent dry weight can be used as candidate indicators of the status of emergent, constructed wetlands in Ohio and for assessing the performance of mitigation. The method of nearest shrunken centroids has excellent potential for further applications in ecology. © 2013 US Government.


Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | MacK J.,Cleveland Metroparks | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey | Gara B.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2013

Indices of biological integrity of wetlands based on vascular plants (VIBIs) have been developed in many areas in the USA. Knowledge of the best predictors of VIBIs would enable management agencies to make better decisions regarding mitigation site selection and performance monitoring criteria. We use a novel statistical technique to develop predictive models for an established index of wetland vegetation integrity (Ohio VIBI), using as independent variables 20 indices and metrics of habitat quality, wetland disturbance, and buffer area land use from 149 wetlands in Ohio, USA. For emergent and forest wetlands, predictive models explained 61% and 54% of the variability, respectively, in Ohio VIBI scores. In both cases the most important predictor of Ohio VIBI score was a metric that assessed habitat alteration and development in the wetland. Of secondary importance as a predictor was a metric that assessed microtopography, interspersion, and quality of vegetation communities in the wetland. Metrics and indices assessing disturbance and land use of the buffer area were generally poor predictors of Ohio VIBI scores. Our results suggest that vegetation integrity of emergent and forest wetlands could be most directly enhanced by minimizing substrate and habitat disturbance within the wetland. Such efforts could include reducing or eliminating any practices that disturb the soil profile, such as nutrient enrichment from adjacent farm land, mowing, grazing, or cutting or removing woody plants. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2015

Regression and classification trees were used to identify the best predictors of the five component metrics of the Ohio Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity (AmphIBI) in 54 wetlands in Ohio, USA. Of the 17 wetland- and surrounding landscape-scale variables considered, the best predictor for all AmphIBI metrics was habitat alteration and development within the wetland. The results were qualitatively similar to the best predictors for a wetland vegetation index of biotic integrity, suggesting that similar management practices (e.g., reducing or eliminating nutrient enrichment from agriculture, mowing, grazing, logging, and removing down woody debris) within the boundaries of the wetland can be applied to effectively increase the quality of wetland vegetation and amphibian communities.


Micacchion M.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | Stapanian M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Adams J.V.,U.S. Geological Survey
Wetlands | Year: 2015

We determined the best predictors of an index of amphibian biotic integrity calculated from 54 shrub and forested wetlands in Ohio, USA using a two-step sequential holdout validation procedure. We considered 13 variables as predictors: four metrics of wetland condition from the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM), a wetland vegetation index of biotic integrity, and eight metrics from a landscape disturbance index. For all iterations, the best model included the single ORAM metric that assesses habitat alteration, substrate disturbance, and habitat development within a wetland. Our results align with results of similar studies that have associated high scores for wetland vegetation indices of biotic integrity with low habitat alteration and substrate disturbance within wetlands. Thus, implementing similar management practices (e.g., not removing downed woody debris, retaining natural morphological features, decreasing nutrient input from surrounding agricultural lands) could concurrently increase ecological integrity of both plant and amphibian communities in a wetland. Further, our results have the unexpected effect of making progress toward a more unifying theory of ecological indices. © 2015, US Government.


Mueller Jr. R.,Ball State University | Mueller Jr. R.,Midwest Biodiversity Institute | Pyron M.,Ball State University
Copeia | Year: 2010

We collected fishes at 28 sites of the middle Wabash River, Indiana, using a boat electrofisher and at ten additional sites using a 10-m beach seine. We used Canonical Correspondence Analysis to test for fish assemblage variation that was explained by variation in water depth and substrate frequency. The multivariate analyses resulted in a longitudinal gradient in water depth and frequency of occurrence of substrate size categories that explained a large component of variation among fish assemblages for both sampling regimes. Our results illustrate that substrate composition and water depth variation are significant environmental predictors of fish assemblage composition for a large river such as the Wabash River. © 2010 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

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