Studies of Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Western Virginia Streams as Related to the Implementation of Rapid Bioassessment Techniques
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A second study evaluated the accuracy of a standardized qualitative sampling approach, commonly used in rapid bioassessments, in assessing the biological condition of lotic systems. I compared a typical standardized qualitative sampling method with subsampling with a typical quantitative sampling method on a stream with varying degrees of impairment. Although some metrics did respond to differences in sample abundance, overall the two methods made similar estimates of community composition. The two sampling methods made the same assessment an average 89% of the time using multimetric index developed for the Mid-Atlantic Region. I found no pattern showing one method was more accurate in making assessments of biological condition than the other. Given the greater time and costs associated with quantitative sampling methods, I conclude that standardized qualitative methods, are preferable for rapid bioassessment approaches to environmental assessment.