Macroinvertebrate Assemblages in Selected New Jersey Springs

Yaritza Acosta Caraballo, Meiyin Wu, Steven Domber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Springs are often very diverse aquatic systems that have important ecological functions. This study documented water quality and macroinvertebrate assemblages, while providing a baseline inventory, in 6 New Jersey springs which varied by discharge (4-16,990 L/min). We collected aquatic macroinvertebrates using a Hess sampler quarterly from August 2014 to September 2015. This study documented diverse macroinvertebrate communities, with a total of 2383 macroinvertebrate individuals encompassing 103 taxa. The numerically dominant taxa present were Diptera, Amphipoda, and Coleoptera. No single genus or species were present at all 6 spring sites. We collected 2 taxa that have not been previously documented in New Jersey: Neoplasta and Cecidomyiidae. Each spring exhibits unique characteristics; analysis of the data presented in this study focuses on correlation between datasets. Correlations suggest that springs with higher discharge house a more diverse macroinvertebrate community including more pollution-sensitive taxa. For future study, more data is needed to pinpoint the causation of macroinvertebrate metrics related to human disturbance and urbanization. Continued monitoring of these springs is recommended due to their ecological importance and to study the long-term water quality trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-262
Number of pages21
JournalNortheastern Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2020


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