Math Modeling as a Tool to Understand Mayfly Emergence in White Clay Creek and How it Might be Impacted by Climate Change

Department of Mathematics Seminar Series
Allison Kolpas, West Chester University
- | Over Zoom only

We develop a three-stage stochastic individual-based model for the phenology of the parthenogenetic mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae). Mayflies are poikilothermic and develop at a rate dependent on the temperature of their aquatic environment. The model was built using development data for each aquatic stage from controlled laboratory studies to determine the variation in development rates present in the population and the development rate response curve to temperature. Variable temperature experiments simulating diel temperature changes were used to validate the model. The thermal input data for the model is based on average daily water temperature recordings from White Clay Creek from January 2007 to 2013. The model predicts a multi voltine life cycle with a mode of 3 generations per year that agrees well with field observations.An optimally timed quiescent period for larvae (triggered by day length) is shown to enhance synchronization of adult emergence. Any future stream temperature rise is predicted to increase the number of generations per year and desynchronize adult emergence, and these changes could lead to significant population decline in species that reproduce sexually.