Freshwater is essential to human existence. The health of each freshwater source is connected to the survival of pollution intolerant species of aquatic macroinvertebrates in the orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT taxa). A higher presence of EPT taxa equates to better water quality because their water bound larvae assist in maintaining clean freshwater environments and will not survive in highly polluted water. Human disruption to natural environments is causing increases in polluted freshwater, leading to decreases in the presence of EPT taxa. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department documentation shows major concern for the populations of eight EPT species of critical concern in East Texas (Sparbarus coushatta, Tricorythodes curvatus, Isoperla sagittata, Cheumatopsyche morsei, Chimarra holzenthali, Hydroptila ouachita, Neotrichia mobilensis, and Phylocentropus harrisi). A field status survey of each species was based on an extensive literature review and included their documented historical locations. Evidence of S. coushatta, T. curvatus and I. sagittata was found at and near their historical locations. There was no evidence for the presence of C. morsei, C. holzenthali, H. ouachita, N. mobilensis, or P. harrisi. Canonical correspondence analysis showed the significance of species findings in comparison to each other, their habitats, and water quality of each sample location. Man-made threats to Texas aquatic macroinvertebrate habitats have increased exponentially and leave these species with a status of greatest conservation need.

Date of publication

Fall 12-12-2023

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Lance Williams, Ph.D., Marsha Williams, Matthew Greenwold, Ph.D., and Joshua Banta, Ph.D.


Master of Science