Bioassessment of Four Karst Springs at Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area with a Focus on Diving Beetle (Dytiscidae: Hydroporinae) Species of Concern

Scott Longing, L. Mack, Brian Haggard
2017 Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science  
Four springs were surveyed at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area to provide an initial bioassessment and to determine occurrences of two endemic predaceous diving beetles of concern, Heterosternuta sulphuria and Sanfilippodytes sp. Habitat in the four spring runs were dominated by bedrock and gravel substrate with heavy accumulations of leaf litter. Thirtythree taxa representing 11 orders were collected from the four springs. Non-insect taxa included Oligochaeta, Physidae, and Isopoda, and
more » ... minant insect orders included Ephemeroptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and Trichoptera. The total number of taxa across springs ranged from seven to 19, with total abundances ranging from 39 to 86 individuals. No individual taxon occurred across all four springs. Percent tolerant organisms and the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index showed that spring communities were dominated by taxa tolerant to organic pollution, likely because of low flows and heavy accumulations of leaves. Predators were the dominant functional group followed by shredders. The endemic, predaceous diving beetle Heterosternuta sulphuria was collected from two springs and Sanfilippodytes sp. was collected from three springs. One spring contained the largest number of Sanfilippodytes sp. individuals recorded among all other aquatic habitats surveyed to date. Findings highlight the importance of spring systems at Hobbs State Park Conservation Area for endemic-species conservation, while information on the invertebrate community provides a baseline for future monitoring and comparison.
doi:10.54119/jaas.2017.7130 fatcat:6qxml4zfx5fxlm53xyevvjzplu