The response of perennial and temporary headwater stream invertebrate communities to hydrological extremes

Stubbington, R ORCID: 0000-0001-8475-5109, Greenwood, AM, Wood, PJ, Armitage, PD, Gunn, J and Robertson, AL, 2009. The response of perennial and temporary headwater stream invertebrate communities to hydrological extremes. Hydrobiologia, 630 (1), pp. 299-312. ISSN 0018-8158

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The headwaters of karst rivers experience considerable hydrological variability, including spates and streambed drying. Extreme summer flooding on the River Lathkill (Derbyshire, UK) provided the opportunity to examine the invertebrate community response to unseasonal spate flows, flow recession and, at temporary sites, streambed drying. Invertebrates were sampled at sites with differing flow permanence regimes during and after the spates. Following streambed drying at temporary sites, dewatered surface sediments were investigated as a refugium for aquatic invertebrates. Experimental rehydration of these dewatered sediments was conducted to promote development of desiccation-tolerant life stages. At perennial sites, spate flows reduced invertebrate abundance and diversity, whilst at temporary sites, flow reactivation facilitated rapid colonisation of the surface channel by a limited number of invertebrate taxa. Following streambed drying, 38 taxa were recorded from the dewatered and rehydrated sediments, with Oligochaeta being the most abundant taxon and Chironomidae (Diptera) the most diverse. Experimental rehydration of dewatered sediments revealed the presence of additional taxa, including Stenophylax sp. (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae) and Nemoura sp. (Plecoptera: Nemouridae). The influence of flow permanence on invertebrate community composition was apparent despite the aseasonal high-magnitude flood events.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: The original publication is available at
Publication Title: Hydrobiologia
Creators: Stubbington, R., Greenwood, A.M., Wood, P.J., Armitage, P.D., Gunn, J. and Robertson, A.L.
Publisher: Springer
Date: 2009
Volume: 630
Number: 1
ISSN: 0018-8158
Rights: © 2009 Springer Verlag
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:49
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:11

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