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PLEASE NOTE: The schedule posted here is as of 1/25/16, and is subject to change. Please check back for updates.
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Tuesday, January 26 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Measuring Habitat in Reservoirs: Current Methods and Potential for a New Approach

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AUTHORS: Rebecca M. Krogman*, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Littoral habitat is an important component of lake and reservoir ecosystems, but is rarely measured or monitored. The importance of habitat integrity has been recognized and measured in lotic systems alongside biological integrity and water quality for decades, but similar habitat measures for lakes and reservoirs are still in their infancy. Two approaches which have been developed recently are the National Lakes Assessment protocol and the European Lake Habitat Survey protocol; both approaches are somewhat similar to each other and are reminiscent of the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index for streams. We applied both protocols during summer 2015 to two Iowa reservoirs, Easter Lake and Union Grove Lake. Results were compared between reservoirs and between samples to determine whether one method yielded more useful or reliable data than the other. Extensive discussion of each protocol yielded new perspectives on whether components could be adequately measured, whether potentially useful metrics were not included, and whether each protocol adequately reflected fish habitat in Iowa reservoirs. A new method was then investigated which combined multiple spatial scales, deriving data from remote sensing, lake mapping, and field sampling. Protocols for measuring lentic habitat will be further tested during 2016, with the goal of developing a habitat index which can be used for both monitoring and management of reservoirs.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST