Dry me a river: characterising and monitoring how aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates respond to drying and anthropogenic pressures in temporary streams

Gething, K.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4997-0249, 2024. Dry me a river: characterising and monitoring how aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates respond to drying and anthropogenic pressures in temporary streams. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Temporary streams, those which sometimes dry, comprise >50% of the global river network and support communities which include both aquatic and terrestrial species. As such, temporary streams support high biodiversity, including rare and specialist species, but such ecosystems face multiple natural and anthropogenic pressures, such as climate change and agriculture. To inform management strategies that protect temporary streams, we need a better understanding of how these pressures influence their aquatic–terrestrial biodiversity, and how to effectively monitor communities in such dynamic ecosystems. In this thesis, I assess the responses of aquatic invertebrate assemblages to co-occurring drying and agricultural pressures and investigate the role of agricultural ditches in supporting specialist drying-tolerant insects. I also evaluate the role of connectivity in shaping terrestrial assemblages around the channel and test methods for characterising in-channel terrestrial assemblages in relation to environmental variables indicative of human impacts during wet and dry phases. I found that flow permanence was the key driver of both aquatic and terrestrial assemblages, with the balance of connectivity and isolation provided by wet and dry phases maintaining populations that include generalist and specialist invertebrate taxa. Pitfall trapping, hand searching and predictions made from habitat surveys were capable of characterising terrestrial assemblages, suggesting these methods may allow more frequent and widespread monitoring by managers and citizen scientists. Holistically monitoring both aquatic and terrestrial assemblages may provide novel insights as to the ecological impacts of the multiple pressures impacting temporary streams, informing better recognition and protection of these dynamic river ecosystems in a time of unprecedented global change.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Gething, K.J.
Stubbington, R.Thesis supervisorBIO3STUBBRorcid.org/0000-0001-8475-5109
Whiteford, E.Thesis supervisorBIO3WHITEEJorcid.org/0000-0002-2411-7591
Date: April 2024
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 17 Jun 2024 13:10
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2024 13:10
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/51574

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