Home Institution

University of Colorado Boulder

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Iceland: Climate Change and The Arctic


As the climate warms, global biodiversity is plummeting and extinction rates are rising (Jenkins, 2003). Freshwater ecosystems specifically are experiencing huge losses in diversity (Jenkins, 2003; Ormerod et al., 2010; Collier et al., 2016). Conservation of invertebrates is particularly urgent because they are foundational to the trophic systems in streams and lakes, comprising 95% of all species on earth (Titley et al., 2017), and over 60% of biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems (Collier et al., 2016). Through analysis of both my own field measurements and historical data I seek to gain a preliminary understanding of temperature and macroinvertebrate community changes that have taken place in a small stream in Michigan, in order to develop baseline data that will aid in identifying changes in the future. I utilize data before and after the installation of a unique stream cooling modification to explore: (1) How temperature has changed over time in Pine River? (2) How the macroinvertebrate community changed over time, as compared to a 1993 baseline? and (3) What do these changes mean for the community health of this stream? I compare my own 2020 aquatic macroinvertebrate samples to a 1993 macroinvertebrate dataset and look for statistically significant changes in order level percent abundance and taxa density. I analyze temperature data and find a significant cooling trend as a result of an anthropogenic temperature manipulation. Although Pine River has cooled since 1993 the macroinvertebrate community remains quite similar, with the exception of a significant increase in Trichoptera. My research suggests that this location could provide a refuge for species in the region that are negatively affected by warming water temperatures, and highlights the need for a better understanding of the factors that influence macroinvertebrate communities.


Climate | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Studies | Fresh Water Studies | Research Methods in Life Sciences | Zoology


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