Benthic Macroinvertebrates

Keeney Creek waterfall, with sampling equipment arranged on the rocks in the foreground
Benthic macroinvertebrate sampling equipment at the base of the Keeney Creek waterfall.

NPS / Douglas Manning

Streams, lakes, and rivers provide a place to live (habitat) for many different kinds of animals. One group of these animals, referred to as ‘benthic macroinvertebrates’, spend some or all of their lives near (or in) the bottom of these freshwater ecosystems. There are many types of benthic macroinvertebrates (including insects, clams, crayfish, and snails), and although they can be very different in many ways, they are all relatively small and do not have backbones.

Some benthic macroinvertebrate species can live in polluted or damaged ecosystems while others need undamaged habitat (including clean water) to survive. Our scientists study and document which benthic macroinvertebrate species live in streams throughout the Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network – having this information through time will help park managers protect and improve stream ecosystems for future generations.


Protocol and Standard Operating Procedures

Source: Data Store Collection 4289. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.


Source: Data Store Collection 7996. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.


Caleb Tzilkowski, Aquatic Ecologist

Last updated: July 15, 2021