Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name



Earth and Environmental Sciences


Bacteria;Coastal Wetlands;Connecting Channel;Great Lakes;Macroinvertebrate;Tributary


Kenneth Drouillard


Catherine Febria



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The Detroit River is a Great Lakes Area of Concern with five monitored wetlands in the Canadian jurisdiction. Habitat assessments have indicated possible stress at wetlands receiving inflow from Turkey Creek and River Canard tributaries. These assessments are made within the tributaries. Yet, macrophyte beds extend into the river upstream and downstream and are important biodiversity habitats. This thesis examines benthic macroinvertebrate and sediment bacteria community compositions for differences with respect to tributaries by two means. First, we examine inter-wetland differences for resemblance to water quality. We had found by NMDS and PERMANOVA that neither taxonomic group resembled water quality index scores. Second, we perform an intra-wetland comparison for Turkey Creek and River Canard to analyze for differences along tributary inputs. Wetland communities were delineated by position into upstream, downstream, and tributary plume strata and analyzed by NMDS and PERMANOVA. Additionally, to detect potentially impaired sample sites and support community differences along tributaries, a multivariate reference approach was applied by dividing sample sites by similar habitat characteristics to contrast River Canard and Turkey Creek to reference wetlands. At neither River Canard nor Turkey Creek we observed significant tributary influence on river communities but had found the Turkey Creek tributary communities significantly differed from the river. Multiple lines of evidence suggest community impairment in Turkey Creek likely from upstream waters rather than tributary inputs.