Life Sciences


Keith Piccard


Ph.D. John Gabrosek


For the past ten years Professor Keith Piccard of the Grand Valley Biology department has been collecting data on aquatic macroinvertebrates in Allendale Middle School’s Sevey drain. He has been studying how precipitation effects aquatic macroinvertebrate population numbers, diversity, and ecosystem attributes. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are defined as organisms without backbones that live on, under, or around rocks and sediment on the bottom of lakes, rivers, and streams. Aquatic macroinvertebrates must be able to be observed by the human eye without the aid of a microscope. The two most common aquatic macroinvertebrates are Scuds and Caddisfly Larvae which are displayed below in Figure One. Scuds have an average length of ¼ inch and Caddisfly Larvae generally measure anywhere from ¼ inch to ¾ inch. Any organisms that did not meet the definition of aquatic macroinvertebrates that were collected from the Sevey drain were not included in the analysis of this study. The analysis completed for this study will be used by Professor Piccard to further his research which is annually reported to the University of Michigan. This analysis can be used to create an understanding of how precipitation affects population trends, diversity, and ecosystem attributes in the state of Michigan. From his previous research and analysis Professor Piccard hypothesizes that there is a relationship between precipitation and population numbers, Shannon’s Diversity Index, and the ecosystem attributes of the Sevey drain.

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