The VT EPSCoR Streams Project sponsors faculty research at colleges throughout Vermont.
Their work has tended to focus on macro- invertebrates in streams.
Carlos Pinkham, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Norwich University, Northfield, VT
phone: 485-2319, voice mail
Application of the Index of Biotic Similarity (B) to the Analysis of the
Data Generated by the Streams Project
Analysis of the data generated by the Streams Project requires the use of several powerful
tools to discern important underlying patterns and understand their implications. One of
these tools is the Index of Biotic Similarity (B), the computer program that applies it,
BioSim2, and the statistical program developed to identify significant relationships that
they reveal. This tool, sanctioned by both the State of Vermont Department of Environmental
Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency as one of the most effective ways to
compare community structure between two or more communities, was used to identify relationships
among the communities of macroinvertebrates sampled by the college students in 2008. Preliminary
results showed one group of taxa, comprising nine pollution intolerant taxa significantly grouped
together in five sites. These sites are thus the most pristine of those studied. They involved
two sites on Metawee Creek, one from Baldwin Creek, one from Otter Creek and one from Lamoille
River drainage. Five pollution tolerant taxa significantly grouped together with six sites,
five of which were on Monroe Brook. The remaining site was from Pond Brook. Thus these sites
are the most degraded in the study. Between these extremes was one set of three mostly pollution
tolerant taxa significantly grouped with two sites in the Lamoille River Drainage in Fairfax and
one site on Sunderland Brook. Two other significant groups of taxa and sites are less clear.
It is hoped that the 2009 year of study will shed more light on these results.
In the summer of 2008 through the spring of 2009, Jonathon L. Miller, a senior at Norwich University,
assisted the PI, Carlos Pinkham. This year there is no student assisting the PI.
Robert Genter, PhD, Professor of Biology, Johnson State College, Johnson, VT
Microbial Source Tracking and Total Phosphorus in Tributaries of the
Lamoille River, Vermont
Undergraduate students Greg Perry, Ben Kirchner, and Tim Thurston from
Johnson State College, and Jake VanGorder from Sterling College, were
responsible for collecting water samples for total phosphorus and for
generating genetic fingerprints of specimens of the bacteria E. coli
from 19 streams in the Lamoille River drainage. Their research
investigates the relation between water quality and land use practices
by testing the hypothesis of whether differences exist in concentrations
of total-P and in varieties of E. coli in streams surrounded by
agricultural, urban, and forested land uses. Genetic fingerprints of E.
coli were generated by Ribotyping (r) and so far indicate that streams
in agricultural areas have E. coli predominantly from livestock, that
streams in urban areas have the highest percentage of human E. coli, and
that forested areas have the lowest contribution from livestock and