The influence of hydraulics on benthic macroinvertebrates in the confluence of Wood Brook and Burleigh Brook, Loughborough, UK.
thesisposted on 05.12.2012 by Catherine A. Shaw
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Several near-bed hydraulic variables were monitored to assess the spatial and temporal variability of near-bed hydraulic habitat conditions in the confluence of Wood Brook and Burleigh Brook, Loughborough, UK. Surber samples were collected to assess the spatial and temporal responses of benthic macroinvertebrate communities inhabiting the confluence to hydraulic habitat variability. It was determined that near-bed downstream velocity and near-bed vertical velocity were the most important factors controlling spatial differences in benthic habitat conditions in the confluence. The recovery zone downstream of the confluence was found to be the most hydraulically distinct habitat. Temporally, the hydraulic conditions in the confluence remained relatively stable over the range of stages monitored. The recovery zone exhibited the most diverse benthic macroinvertebrate community in the confluence. Abundances of Gammarus pulex, Erpobdella octoculata and Ceratopogonidae were significantly higher in the recovery zone than in any other hydraulic zone of the confluence. Few significant temporal variations in benthic macroinvertebrate community structures were observed. Therefore, there is some evidence to suggest that hydraulic habitat conditions influence the community structure and distribution of macroinvertebrates in the confluence of Wood Brook and Burleigh Brook.
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