Ministry of Environment
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Report: Slocan Valley Wetland and Assessment Program - Wetland Invertebrate Assessment Tool

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The Slocan Wetland Mapping and Assessment Project (SWAMP) is a local initiative that brings together professional biologists and citizen scientists to identify sensitive wetlands and establish priorities for restoration and protection in the Slocan Watershed. SWAMP is a collaboration of three societies, Slocan Solutions, Slocan River Streamkeepers and Slocan Lake Stewardship.

Author:  Quamme, D.; MacKenzie, R.; Johnson, R.; Durand, R.; Ehlers, T.

Old Reference Number:  W-F16-10

Old Reference System:  Fish Wildlife Compensation Program FWCP Columbia

Date Published:  May 2016

Report ID:  50915

Audience:  Government and Public

The Slocan Wetland Mapping and Assessment Project (SWAMP) is a local initiative that brings together professional biologists and citizen scientists to identify sensitive wetlands and establish priorities for restoration and protection in the Slocan Watershed. SWAMP is a collaboration of three societies, Slocan Solutions, Slocan River Streamkeepers and Slocan Lake Stewardship. The invertebrate component of SWAMP uses Environment Canada's modified CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) protocols to assess wetland condition across a gradient of human activity or stress. The importance of Slocan Valley wetlands have been identified at a grassroots-level by Slocan Valley communities and recognized by regional, provincial and national agencies. The project will be developed under Environment Canada's guidance using modified Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) for wetlands with advice from Dr. Rebecca Rooney of the University of Waterloo. The project will use quantitative measures of wetland stress and biological indicators of wetland health to create a strategic list of wetland priorities based on the Index of Biotic Integrity for the Slocan Watershed to aid in management decisions about restoration and conservation. We developed quantitative tools to rate wetland stress and biotic integrity that can be used to assess wetlands in the Slocan Watershed to make management decisions about restoration and conservation. We used a multimetric index of biotic integrity (IBI) approach that used macroinvertebrate metrics as an indicator of wetland health. We identified an initial list of candidate sites that are low in wetland stress and high in biological integrity that are best-case scenario reference conditions for future work and restoration goals. Our work addresses this priority in a quantitative and scientifically valid method. We calculated a quantitative stress gradient based on chemical and physical stresses using an objective approach. We tested the effect of different scoring methods on the performance of the stress gradient. We attempted to minimize the use of subjective measures with a focus on statistically measured results. Five macroinvertebrate metrics were selected as indicators of wetland stress across a range of wetland types including: Simpson's Diversity Index, percent Callibaetis sp., the number of Clitellata taxa, % Abundance collector-gatherers Number of intolerant taxa, % Diversity of amphipods to (amphipods + bivalves + gastropods). An Index of Biotic Integrity for macroinvertebrates calculated from these indicator metrics showed a strong significant response to increasing wetland stress. However, an increased number of sites are required for further testing, and validation.

Report Type
  Fish and Aquatic Habitat Information
 
Subject
  Invertebrates - Aquatic
  Invertebrates - Benthic
  Region - Kootenay
  Terrestrial Information - Habitat Modeling
 


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