Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Committee Member

Dr. Michael S. Caterino, Committee Co-chair

Committee Member

John C. Morse, Committee Co-chair

Committee Member

Dr. Peter Adler

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick D. Gerard


Rapid biomonitoring with aquatic macroinvertebrates (mostly immature life stages) is a common method to assess stream health. The use of terrestrial emerging adult aquatic insects for biomonitoring has been frequently suggested yet has not been adopted in most protocols. This study explores the addition of a light trapping protocol for adult caddisflies (Trichoptera) to complement existing rapid, multi-habitat benthic biomonitoring protocols that focus on the use of a Biotic Index. Four locations in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North and South Carolina were sampled quarterly for larvae and monthly from April through October for adults. Biotic Index values (both Mixed-Rank and Species), taxa differences, lab processing times, and habitat associations of adults were compared. All locations were similar in all metrics examined. Mixed-Rank Biotic-Index (MRBI) values were consistent among larval but differed among adult sampling periods. Species Biotic-Index (SpBI) values were consistent among larval sampling periods but were lower than MRBI values. SpBI values were lower than MRBI values for adult sampling periods and exhibited less variation. There were no differences between larval and combined (larval + adult) sampling periods within MRBI or SpBI values. Taxa varied somewhat between larval and adult sampling periods but showed high similarities for those taxa with tolerance values. Lab processing times showed little variation between larval and adult communities. No adults definitely developed/emerged from a different water source than where the larvae were sampled. Due to inconclusive results, adding a light trapping event to the current biomonitoring protocols cannot be recommended. Other areas that show potential for light trapping are recommended.



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