• Land Use Effects on Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities in Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice, and Honeoye Lakes

      Owens, Mitchell C.; The College at Brockport (2017-05-01)
      Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice and Honeoye lakes are among the smallest Finger Lakes, but they are important for drinking water, recreation and homes along their shorelines. Farms and forests are the major land uses in their watersheds. Hemlock and Canadice lakes are both within a state forest, which provides a buffer along the shoreline. Conesus and Honeoye lakes are unprotected. While the chemical water quality of these lakes is relatively well understood, the benthic macroinvertebrate communities in these lakes have not been studied. This study established baseline macroinvertebrate community data for all four lakes and determined the presence or absence of eight potential invasive species (Bithynia tentaculata, Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata, Viviparus georgianus, Dreissena polymorpha, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, Corbicula fluminea, Echinogammarus ischnus, and Hemimysis anomala). Five of the eight species (B. tentaculata, C. c. malleata,V. georgianus, D. polymorpha, and D. r. bugensis) were found in at least one lake. All five of these species were found in Honeoye. All species but B. tentaculata were found in Conesus. Only Dreissenid mussels were found in Hemlock and Canadice. This study also explored whether having a near-shore forest buffer improves water quality in lakes and whether relationships exist between individual sub-watershed land use and biotic indicators of water quality and, as determined by biotic indices using benthic macroinvertebrates. While significant differences were found in the overall benthic community compositions between the lakes, biotic indices were similar between lakes and did not follow the expected water quality patterns. In addition, no correlations were found between sub-watershed land use and biotic indices of water quality. This suggests that near-shore buffers in Hemlock and Canadice Lakes have no effect on biotic indicators of water quality and only whole-watershed management might positively influence water quality.