Stream macroinvertebrate dynamics across a gradient of flow permanence in an agricultural watershed
Smith, Chelsea Rene
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Climate shifts coupled with increasing water demand will likely decrease base flows and increase the prevalence of intermittent streams. Understanding how assemblages respond to such alterations is crucial in determining flow-ecology relationships. This study examined the affect of reduced flows during a recent drought on invertebrate assemblages across a gradient of flow permanence following an extended period of flow as well as the recovery interval of an intermittent stream following a recent drying event. Distinct assemblages were found across the gradient, with those streams that dried during the drought containing less insect and EPT richness as well as less insect relative abundance. Comparison before and after a recent drying event showed that assemblages recovered quickly (within 100 days) through a pattern from resistant to sensitive taxa. The reaches that dried maintained a similar richness to those that remained wet; however overall abundance was reduced.