Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

 

SPRINGS OF ILLINOIS - PHASE 3

 


 

THE AQUATIC BIOTA AND GROUNDWATER QUALITY OF SPRINGS IN THE LINCOLN HILLS, WISCONSIN DRIFTLESS, AND NORTHERN TILL PLAINS SECTIONS OF ILLINOIS

 

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D.W. Webb, M.J. Wetzel, and L.R. Phillippe
Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) 
1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820 

P.C. Reed and T.C. Young 
Illinois State Geological Survey 
615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

 


This web site presents an abstract of a paper summarizing results of the third phase of a long-term project focusing on the biodiversity, hydrogeology, and water quality of springs in Illinois.

 


 

- SUMMARY -

From 1 September 1995 through 1 July 1997, 125 springs in the Lincoln Hills Section of the Ozark Plateaus Province, the Wisconsin Driftless Section, and the Northern Till Plains Section of Illinois were visited. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and water samples were collected at 58 of these springs.

Two hundred and nine taxa of aquatic macroinvertebrates were collected during this present study. Taxa richness ranged from 3 to 73 and averaged 16 taxa per spring. In comparison, the taxa richness for seven springs recorded during our first study, in the Shawnee Hills Section of southern Illinois, ranged from 11 to 46, averaging 27 taxa per spring. Taxa richness for 10 springs recorded during our second study, in the Salem Plateau Section of southwestern Illinois, ranged from 18 to 82, averaging 42 taxa per spring.

Amphipods, isopods, and turbellarians were the most abundant organisms observed in most springs during this present study. Eleven species of amphipods were reported, five of which are troglobites. Bactrurus brachycaudus was reported from six springs; Bactrurus mucronatus was reported from two springs;Crangonyx forbesi was reported from three springs; Stygobromus iowae, a species previously reported from only one locality in northwestern Illinois, was reported from two springs; and Gammarus troglophilus, a dominant amphipod species in Illinois caves, was reported from three springs. Six species of aquatic isopods were reported during this study, including three troglobitic species, and a species new to science from a spring in Johnson County. Three species of turbellarians were reported during this study, including Caecidotea bicrenata from one spring; Caecidotea kendeighi from four springs, and Caecidotea packardifrom four springs.

Seven taxa of ostracods were reported during this study, including two species new to science.

Aquatic insects (133 taxa) comprised the most diverse group of aquatic macroinvertebrates, but generally were collected in low abundance. Forty-six taxa of aquatic Coleoptera were reported during this study; many of these taxa, however, were from springs which had been impounded to form ponds, particularly those which supported large areas of water cress. During this study, 42 taxa of Trichoptera were reported. Generally, they displayed a low diversity in most springs, but in certain springs in Pike and Carroll counties, several extremely rare caddisflies were collected. Lepidostoma libum, a species previously reported from only three localities in Illinois, was reported from 27 additional springs during this study, thus becoming the most dominant caddisfly in Illinois springs surveyed to date. Glossosoma intermedium, a species previously reported only from a spring in Kane County, was also reported during this study from two additional springs. Ceratopsyche slossonae, previously reported from only three localities in Illinois, was reported from on additional spring. Diplectrona modesta,previously reported from only two localities in Illinois, was reported from four additional springs. Ochrotrichia riesi, previously reported from only two localities in Illinois, was reported from one additional spring. Triaenodes baris, previously reported from only one locality in Illinois, was reported from one additional spring. Hesperophylax designatus, previously reported from only one locality in Illinois, was reported from one additional spring. Pycnopsyche antica, previously reported from southwestern Michigan, was reported from a spring in Carroll County - a new state record for this species. Rhyacophila vibox, previously reported from one locality in Illinois, was reported from one additional spring. Psychomyia flavida, previously reported from only two localities in Illinois, was reported from one additional spring. Five species of stoneflies were reported during this study - Allocapnia vivipara, Amphinemura delosa, Leuctra tenuis, Nemoura trispinosa, and Clioperla clio. Nemoura trispinosa, previously reported from only one locality in Illinois, was reported from five springs.

Oligochaetes (29 taxa) were the most diverse group of non-insectan aquatic macroinvertebrates collected during this study. Rhyacodrilus cf. montana, a rare species in Illinois, was reported from two springs. Varichaetadrilus angustipenis, another rare species in Illinois, was reported from five springs. Allonais inaequalis [initially identified as A. paraguayensis] - a rare species in the United States but recently collected from four springs in western and southern Illinois during our recent surveys in those areas, was reported during this present study from one spring in Jo Daviess County. Generally, oligochaetes were low in abundance but often high in diversity within a spring. Several other springs, particularly those in which the springhead and/or springbrook were disturbed by the presence of cattle, supported high densities of two or three species of oligochaetes tolerant of organic enrichment and siltation.

Carex laxiculmis, a spreading sedge listed as State Threatened in Illinois, was located along the springbrook and on the adjacent mesic wooded slope of one spring in Adams County. This collection represents a new county record for this species, previously known from nine counties in Illinois. Acalypha deamii(Large-seeded Mercury), listed as State Threatened in Illinois, was found along the short springbrook of one spring. Juglans cinerea (white walnut) was found at one spring. The white walnut presently is considered by the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board to be a species of Special Concern - a species not currently listed as endangered or threatened in Illinois, yet thought to be experiencing serious population declines such that it may become listed as either Threatened or Endangered in Illinois in the foreseeable future.

Water samples were collected in March, June, and August of 1996 and April and June of 1997. Nitrate nitrogen, above a background level of 1.4 mg/L, was detected in 73 of 123 water samples (59%). Concentrations ranged from below the analytical detection limit (< DL) to 33.9 mg/L. Ten samples exceeded the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (EPAMCL) of 10 mg/L.

Water samples were also analyzed for the presence of four herbicides - Alachlor, Atrazine, Cyanazine, and Metolachlor.

Alachlor was detected in 4 of 110 water samples (4%); concentrations ranged from < DL to 0.03 µg/L. No samples exceeded the EPAMCL of 2 µg/L.

Atrazine was detected in 48 of 110 water samples (44%); concentrations ranged from < DL to 1.98 µg/L. No samples exceeded the EPAMCL of 3 µg/L.

Cyanazine was detected in 4 of 104 water samples (4%); concentrations ranged from < DL to 9.24 µg/L. Two samples from Calhoun County exceeded the EPAHAL of 1 µg/L.

Metolachlor was detected in 22 of 110 water samples (20%); concentrations ranged from < DL to 0.41 µg/L. No samples exceeded the EPA Health Advisory Level (EPAHAL) of 100 µg/L.

 


The project report summarizing this study, submitted to the agency supporting this research, is entitled:

Webb, D.W., M.J. Wetzel, and L.R. Phillippe. 1998. The aquatic biota and groundwater quality of Illinois springs in the Lincoln Hills, Wisconsin Driftless, and Northern Till Plains Sections of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Technical Report 1998 (6). Prepared for The Environmental Protection Trust Fund Commission and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Energy and Environmental Assessment, Office of Realty and Environmental Planning, Springfield. 164 pp. 


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Copyright © 1990 - 2007, by Mark J. Wetzel (Illinois Natural History Survey Division of Biodiversity and Ecological Entomology, Champaign) unless otherwise noted; All Rights Reserved. This website contains original, copyrighted material; it is being provided here as a professional courtesy, exclusively for your private, non-commercial use. Reference to or redistribution of any part of the information contained herein - whether it be through oral, printed, electronic, or other tangible medium of expression - shall acknowledge the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) and this website as its source. Should you have any questions whatsoever regarding the warranty, liability, or proprietary rights of, or credits for information contained within this website, please refer to the INHS License Agreement. [To the best of my knowledge - and with the exception of the INHS logo - all icons, line breaks, dots, arrows, and globes are not copyrighted.]

Suggested citation for this electronic web site:

Webb, D.W., M.J. Wetzel, and L.R. Phillippe. 2007. The aquatic biota and groundwater quality of springs in the Lincoln Hills, Wisconsin Driftless, and Northern Till Plains Sections of Illinois - Project Summary. World Wide Web URL: 
[ http://wwx.inhs.illinois.edu/people/mjwetzel/springs/spoil3/ ]. 6 August 2007.

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