Vadher et al2015.pdf (305.29 kB)
Download file

Fine sediment reduces vertical migrations of Gammarus pulex (Crustacea: Amphipoda) in response to surface water loss

Download (305.29 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 23.04.2015, 15:45 by Atish N. Vadher, Rachel Stubbington, Paul WoodPaul Wood
Surface and subsurface sediments in river ecosystems are recognized as refuges that may promote invertebrate survival during disturbances such as floods and streambed drying. Refuge use is spatiotemporally variable, with environmental factors including substrate composition, in particular the proportion of fine sediment (FS), affecting the ability of organisms to move through interstitial spaces. We conducted a laboratory experiment to examine the effects of FS on the movement of Gammarus pulex Linnaeus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) into subsurface sediments in response to surface water loss. We hypothesized that increasing volumes of FS would impede and ultimately prevent individuals from migrating into the sediments. To test this hypothesis, the proportion of FS (1–2 mm diameter) present within an open gravel matrix (4–16 mm diameter) was varied from 10 to 20% by volume in 2.5% increments. Under control conditions (0% FS), 93% of individuals moved into subsurface sediments as the water level was reduced. The proportion of individuals moving into the subsurface decreased to 74% at 10% FS, and at 20% FS no individuals entered the sediments, supporting our hypothesis. These results demonstrate the importance of reducing FS inputs into river ecosystems and restoring FS-clogged riverbeds, to promote refuge use during increasingly common instream disturbances.


We are grateful for the funding and space provided by Nottingham Trent University Biosciences team.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in



VADHER, A.N., STUBBINGTON, R. and WOOD, P.J., 2015. Fine sediment reduces vertical migrations of Gammarus pulex (Crustacea: Amphipoda) in response to surface water loss. Hydrobiologia, 753(1), pp.61-71.


Springer / © The Author(s)


VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Publication date



This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.