Across-reach consistency in macroinvertebrate distributions among litter patch types in Japanese headwater streams

Kobayashi, Sohei; Kagaya, Takashi
July 2005
Hydrobiologia;Jul2005, Vol. 543 Issue 1-3, p135
Academic Journal
Different types of litter patches with contrasting macroinvertebrate assemblages have been observed within a stream reach. This study examined whether distributions of macroinvertebrates among three litter patch types (riffle, middle, edge) were consistent between reaches with different channel characteristics in headwater streams in central Japan. Mass of leaves per unit area was significantly higher in riffle and edge patches than in middle patches, which was consistent between reaches, while no consistent pattern was evident between reaches for mass of either woody material or small litter fragments. Distribution among the patch types was consistent between reaches for 11 out of 13 dominant macroinvertebrate taxa; density was highest in riffle patches for 5 taxa and in middle patches for 5 taxa. Although we previously related densities of some taxa to mass of woody material or small litter fragments, hydraulic characteristics (water depth, current velocity), which were consistent between reaches, may be more important determinants of macroinvertebrate distributions among the patch types, even within pools (i.e. middle and edge patches) where current is uniformly low. The results of this study indicate that a reach-scale macroinvertebrate community structure associated with litter is likely to vary according to litter patch type composition, which would be affected by channel characteristics of the reaches.


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