Alexander Masheter's Graduate Exit Seminar
Alexander Masheter will present Short-Term Effects of Lowhead Dam Removal on Emergent Aquatic Insect Communities in the Olentangy River, Ohio on Friday, July 13th at 10am in Heffner Building Room 101.
Removal of dams is becoming increasingly common as a restoration tool, but the ecological impacts are not fully resolved, particularly for smaller, run-of-river dams. In this study, I investigated the short-term (9-21 months after dam removal) impact of a lowhead dam removal on emergent aquatic insect communities in an urbanized portion of the Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio. Seasonality was the strongest driver of emergent insect responses, in spite of dam-removal induced changes in habitat, flow, and water chemistry. Measures of emergent-insect diversity and community composition were most strongly affected by the dam removal with water temperature, conductivity, and sediment grainsize identified as potential drivers. Overall, I found limited evidence to support that dam removal had a strong effect on emergent aquatic insect communities in this study. Given the limited timeframe of my investigation, these results should be seen as preliminary. Ongoing research in the study system will provide additional insight into the effects of dam removal on emergent aquatic insects and other riverine communities and processes.