Aquatic insects and other small creatures (“macroinvertebrates”) are important indicators of freshwater stream health. Macroinvertebrates have been chosen as reliable indicators because many species exhibit sedentary habits, and some taxa are long-lived and have low reproductive rates; while others exhibit complex, easily interrupted reproductive life histories and different tolerances to stress. Together, the group possesses phylogenetic, physiological, behavioral, and ecological diversity with sensitivity to a wide range of ecological perturbations that can persist for years. Consequently, studies of benthic macroinvertebrates are an important component of surveys designed for environmental impact assessment.

The Macroinvertebrate Section at the Patrick Center will continue it’s more than a 50-year history in the bioassessment, biomonitoring, and inventorying of rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes throughout the United States. Moving forward, we will be including novel techniques such as genetic barcoding to increase our understanding of macroinvertebrate communities.”


Learn more about how the Macroinvertebrate and Fisheries Sections are utilizing eDNA in their current and future projects in a Webinar from February 2023: eDNA: A Novel Tool, How ANS is using eDNA and genetic tools to increase our understanding of freshwater ecosystems


The Macroinvertebrate team pose in-front of a fountain.