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Title: Aquatic macroinvertebrate communities on wood in an Australian lowland river: Experimental assessment of the interactions of habitat, substrate complexity and retained organic matter
Contributor(s): Scealy, Jillian Anne (author); Mika, Sarah J (author); Boulton, Andrew John (author)
Publication Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1071/MF06105
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Abstract: Since European settlement, vast amounts of wood have been removed from Australian rivers. In recognition of its ecological value, including as habitat for aquatic invertebrates, wood is being reintroduced but with little understanding of optimum placement (pools v. riffles) or structural complexity to enhance invertebrate diversity. We hypothesised that complex woody debris would support higher numbers and more macroinvertebrate taxa, especially in riffles. Wood substrates of two complexities but similar surface areas were introduced into pools and riffles at three sites along the Hunter River, Australia. After 30 days, more taxa and individuals occurred on the complex substrates in pools and riffles at all sites. Substrates in riffles usually supported more taxa and individuals but responses were site-specific. Community composition varied among sites, substrates and habitats. Complex substrates, especially in riffles, trapped drifting organic matter that increased abundance and taxa richness but did not alter overall trends among substrates or habitats within sites. However, densities of rheophilic (flow-loving) taxa were reduced by entrained organic matter. Our results indicated that complex woody debris introduced into riffles could enhance diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates in the Hunter River. However, these conclusions from a short-term, small-scale experiment need validation from longer-term, large-scale river rehabilitation projects.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Marine and Freshwater Research, 58(2), p. 153-165
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Australia
ISSN: 1323-1650
Field of Research (FOR): 060204 Freshwater Ecology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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