AQUATIC INVERTEBRATE MONITORING IN SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK: BIODIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY SCIENCE ENGAGEMENT
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe tinajas (rock pools) of Saguaro National Park are unique aquatic ecosystems that provide habitat for many aquatic species throughout the year in the Sonoran Desert. However, as climate change continues to impact drought and rainfall, these tinaja ecosystems will be irreversibly impacted. Over two years, we led community science monitoring of five tinajas in the Wildhorse Drainage at Saguaro National Park’s Rincon District with the goal of understanding aquatic invertebrate diversity across seasons. Volunteers assisted in the collection of field data and samples collected in the field were used to create an extensive list of aquatic invertebrates that was used to identify specimens. After analyzing both field and lab samples, we found that the largest pool, which was also the only permanent pool, had the highest species richness across all surveys. There was reduced species richness post-monsoon due to streamflow connecting the pools and altering which species were present. Using community science to complete this project was useful because it allowed us to complete repeated surveys with limited staff.
Degree ProgramNatural Resources