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Several of the Spring/Summer Nature Guides point out that while some can be especially annoying, insects play extremely important roles in aquatic ecosystems. As the weather warms and water levels fall, spring is an excellent time of year to explore the diversity of macro-invertebrate life found in near-by lakes, streams and ponds.
This resource involves students in a bio-monitoring project of a local waterway. Aquatic invertebrates are known to exhibit different tolerances to pollution and as a result are commonly used to assess the health of aquatic ecosystems and monitor changes in water quality. Instructions for locating, sampling and identifying aquatic insects are provided along with the background information students will need to analyze the data they collect.
This resource is an excellent outdoor companion to the study of aquatic habitats, biodiversity and classification. Students will have the opportunity to participate in and develop authentic field biology skills including the use of dichotomous keys.
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