Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   A Seasonality Study of the West Virginia Stream Condition Index
Author:   III Gene Tiffany Hilton
College:   Science
Degree Program:   Physical Science, M.S.
Degree:   Master of Science
Committee Director:   Tom Jones
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   12/03/04

The West Virginia Stream Condition Index (WVSCI) has not been rigorously tested for the effects of seasonal data collection. Scientific literature regarding seasonal impacts on biological indices is surprisingly limited. But most literature does agree that seasonal signals are small in comparison to variation between all possible biological conditions. Recently stream data have been collected from a full range of seasons by both West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and myself. In this study habitat, benthic macroinvertebrate data, and WVSCI values were analyzed for seasonality. For this reason multiple independent data sets were utilized. The analyses covered in this report include the use of box-and-whisker plots, correlation analysis and ANOVAs. Preliminary results indicate that seasonality does impact certain metrics under some seasonal conditions. Among the six metrics that make up the WVSCI, some seasonal signal was detected for EPT Taxa, % Chironomidae, Hilsenhoff Biotic Index, Total Taxa and the WVSCI Index scores. These signals were very inconsistent across multiple, independent data sets. Presently, there are no suggestions for any alterations of the WVSCI that would reduce seasonal signals. 

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