The influence of substrate type on macroinvertebrate assemblages within agricultural drainage ditches

Gething, K.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4997-0249, Ripley, M.C., Mathers, K.L., Chadd, R.P. and Wood, P.J., 2020. The influence of substrate type on macroinvertebrate assemblages within agricultural drainage ditches. Hydrobiologia, 847 (20), pp. 4273-4284. ISSN 0018-8158

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Abstract

Artificial drainage ditches are common features in lowland agricultural catchments that support a wide range of ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Current paradigms in river management suggest activities that increase habitat heterogeneity and complexity resulting in more diverse floral and faunal assemblages; however, it is not known if the same principles apply to artificial drainage ditch systems. We examined the effects of four artificial substrates, representing increasing habitat complexity and heterogeneity (bricks, gravel, netting and vegetation), on macroinvertebrate community structure within artificial drainage ditches. Each substrate type supported a distinct macroinvertebrate community highlighting the importance of habitat heterogeneity in maintaining macroinvertebrate assemblages. Each substrate type also displayed differing degrees of community heterogeneity, with gravel communities being most variable and artificial vegetation being the least. In addition, several macroinvertebrate diversity metrics increased along the gradient of artificial substrate complexity, although these differences were not statistically significant. We conclude that habitat management practices that increase habitat complexity are likely to enhance macroinvertebrate community heterogeneity within artificial drainage channels regardless of previous management activities.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Hydrobiologia
Creators: Gething, K.J., Ripley, M.C., Mathers, K.L., Chadd, R.P. and Wood, P.J.
Publisher: Springer
Date: November 2020
Volume: 847
Number: 20
ISSN: 0018-8158
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1007/s10750-020-04416-6DOI
1495806Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 17 Nov 2021 13:26
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 13:26
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44852

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