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Comparability among four invertebrate sampling methods and two multimetric indexes, Fountain Creek Basin, Colorado, 2010–2012

May 24, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Colorado Springs City Engineering and Colorado Springs Utilities, analyzed previously collected invertebrate data to determine the comparability among four sampling methods and two versions (2010 and 2017) of the Colorado Benthic Macroinvertebrate Multimetric Index (MMI). For this study, annual macroinvertebrate samples were collected concurrently (in space and time) at 15 USGS surface-water gaging stations in the Fountain Creek Basin from 2010 to 2012 using four sampling methods. The USGS monitoring project in the basin uses two of the methods and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends the other two. These methods belong to two distinct sample types, one that targets single habitats and one that targets multiple habitats. The study results indicate that there are significant differences in MMI values obtained from the single-habitat and multihabitat sample types but methods from each program within each sample type produced comparable values. This study also determined that MMI values calculated by different versions of the Colorado Benthic Macroinvertebrate MMI are indistinguishable. This indicates that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment methods are comparable with the USGS monitoring project methods for single-habitat and multihabitat sample types. This report discusses the direct application of the study results to inform the revision of the existing USGS monitoring project in the Fountain Creek Basin.