Adult black fly females are a nuisance by their presence around one's nostrils, ears, arms, hands, and other exposed skin areas. These flies can discourage people from remaining in or visiting certain recreational areas for fishing, camping, hiking, golf, etc. when the black fly season occurs. Children are especially susceptible and may be severely bitten while adults in the same area are scarcely aware of the flies. It is suspected that the expansion of black fly populations is associated with improvement in stream and river water quality in recent years. As with many aquatic insects, black flies are very sensitive to water pollution. We plan to assess the effects of parasites on black fly populations as well as setup database of EPA established pollution tolerance values for aquatic invertebrates and stream rankings. Use existing data for black fly occurrence where applicable, and make new simuliid collections from unique EPA ranked streams that currently have no simuliid occurrence data, as well as make collections of species in complexes where previous morphological identifications may be incorrect. Use chromosomal analysis to identify species within complexes. Correlate the stream rankings with the simuliid species found therein to establish simiid pollution tolerances. Then correlate individual pollution tolerance values with co-occurring simuliid species.As the project has matured, we are expanding our scope of research to include fish species as an additional indicator of environmental quality. Fish species caught in waters adjacentto pesticide areasand non-pesticide areas, and analyzedfor their usefulness as biomarkers for water quality and contaminant burden.
|Effective start/end date||10/1/10 → 9/30/15|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))