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Benthic and hyporheic macroinvertebrate distribution within the heads and tails of riffles during baseflow conditions

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posted on 13.01.2017 by Kate Mathers, Matthew J. Hill, Paul Wood
The distribution of lotic fauna is widely acknowledged to be patchy reflecting the interaction between biotic and abiotic factors. In an in-situ field study, the distribution of benthic and hyporheic invertebrates in the heads (downwelling) and tails (upwelling) of riffles were examined during stable baseflow conditions. Riffle heads were found to contain a greater proportion of interstitial fine sediment than riffle tails. Significant differences in the composition of benthic communities were associated with the amount of fine sediment. Riffle tail habitats supported a greater abundance and diversity of invertebrates sensitive to fine sediment such as EPT taxa. Shredder feeding taxa were more abundant in riffle heads suggesting greater availability of organic matter. In contrast, no significant differences in the hyporheic community were recorded between riffle heads and tails. We hypothesise that clogging of hyporheic interstices with fine sediments may have resulted in the homogenization of the invertebrate community by limiting faunal movement into the hyporheic zone at both the riffle head and tail. The results suggest that vertical hydrological exchange significantly influences the distribution of fine sediment and macroinvertebrate communities at the riffle scale.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Hydrobiologia

Citation

MATHERS, K.L., HILL, M.J. and WOOD, P.J., 2017. Benthic and hyporheic macroinvertebrate distribution within the heads and tails of riffles during baseflow conditions. Hydrobiologia, 794 (1), pp. 17-30.

Publisher

Springer / © The Authors

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date

28/11/2016

Publication date

2017

Notes

This is an open access article published by Springer and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

ISSN

0324-0924

Language

en

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