What is a Macro Invertebrate?
A macro invertebrate is an animal without a backbone and large enough to be seen by the unaided eye. Many macros are usually found in their nymph or larval stage.
What type of Macro Invertebrates are at Islandwood? (Macro Invertebrates at Mac's Pond)
All of the species found on campus in the pond, marsh or bog are referred to as marine macro invertebrates. Species found in or on the substrate at each location are referred to as benthic marine macro invertebrates.
Why are Macro Invertebrates important?
Macro Invertebrates help determine the water quality of the water source where they live. There are multiple ways to determine the quality of a water source (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen) however those tests may not indicate wither the aquatic life in the water source is healthy and successful. The presence of macro invertebrates can provide a more details description of the quality of a water.
How to collect Macro Invertebrates?
To collect Macro Invertebrates it is best to work with a small fish net with small holes. To collect Macros in open water, place the fish net right below the surface of the water and pull the net back a forth a few time before removing it from the water. Once the net is out of the water turn the net insides out and gently touch the inside to a water source that was previously collected (can be a flat dish or ice try). Once the net has come into contact with the water the macro invertebrates with become visible with a naked eye. To collect Benthic Marco Invertebrates repeat the same process in a shallow area. Make sure to first disturbed the substrate by touching the nets to the bottom before collecting, this allows the Marcos to come of the ground and be collected.
What to do once you have Macro Invertebrates?
Once the Macros have been collect students can either observe the species with their unaided eye or students can use microscopes to determine what they have collected. Students can use field guides or dichotomous keys to establish what organisms they believe to have collected and what type of water source (good, fair or poor) each species can live in.
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