Event Title

Characterizing Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Food Webs at the Winthrop Recreational and Research Complex

Poster Number

041

Faculty Mentor

Cynthia Tant, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Biology

Location

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 4:15 PM

Description

Aquatic food webs are complex, and their study can provide valuable information on movement of energy and nutrients in ecosystems. Most food web studies involve microscopic analysis of gut contents that can be time consuming, and many prey species lack features that persist long enough in a predator’s gut for taxonomic identification. The application of newer, molecular-based approaches has the potential to provide previously unavailable resolution in aquatic food webs. We sampled and identified a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates at the Winthrop Recreational and Research Complex. Individuals from selected predator taxa were used either to create gut content slides to identify prey categories or to extract DNA from gut contents for analysis using NextGen sequencing. These comparative data will ultimately provide baseline taxonomic data on food web components in lake, wetland, and stream habitats at the Complex.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Fourth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2018

Grant Support?

Supported by an SC INBRE grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH-NIGMS)

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Apr 20th, 2:15 PM Apr 20th, 4:15 PM

Characterizing Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Food Webs at the Winthrop Recreational and Research Complex

Richardson Ballroom (DIGS)

Aquatic food webs are complex, and their study can provide valuable information on movement of energy and nutrients in ecosystems. Most food web studies involve microscopic analysis of gut contents that can be time consuming, and many prey species lack features that persist long enough in a predator’s gut for taxonomic identification. The application of newer, molecular-based approaches has the potential to provide previously unavailable resolution in aquatic food webs. We sampled and identified a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates at the Winthrop Recreational and Research Complex. Individuals from selected predator taxa were used either to create gut content slides to identify prey categories or to extract DNA from gut contents for analysis using NextGen sequencing. These comparative data will ultimately provide baseline taxonomic data on food web components in lake, wetland, and stream habitats at the Complex.