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Abstract

Sixty semi-annual collections (August 1987-July 1988) were made from 30 stations by sampling each station twice for 1.5 man-hours with an aquatic dipnet. Larval chironomids were mounted on slides and identified at 400-1000 magnifications using a Leitz Dialux 20 EB microscope. A survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrates of the St. Francis Sunken Lands in northeast Arkansas revealed 36 taxa of Order Diptera, Family Chironomidae. The taxa were used to evaluate the general health of the aquatic environment. Stations that were located within the least disturbed areas, which were old river channels and oxbows, contained the highest number of organisms and greatest diversity of taxa per station. Stations that were located either in channelized ditches with intense agricultural activities in the watershed or in the St. Francis Lake area, here the homogeneous substate restricted habitat diversity, contained fewer numbers of organisms and taxa per station.

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