Date of Award:

1970

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Wildlife Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Robert H. Kramer

Abstract

The objective of this study was to clarify the relationships between drift rates, population density, production rates, key environmental factors, and movements of adults within two populations of stream insects (a caddisfly--Oligophlebodes sigma and a mayfly--Baetis bicaudatus).

Samples of benthic invertebrates (424 total) were collected every 2 8 days at four stations on Temple Fork of the Logan River, Utah, from October, 1967 to September, 1969. Samples of drift invertebrates (181 total) were collected every 14 days at three stations on Temple Fork during the same period. During summer months (June-September) a day and a night drift sample (681 total) were collected every other day.

Drift rates of O. sigma larvae were greatest (5,987 gm/year for O. sigma) when density in the benthos (256 mg/0.1 m2) and production (430 mg/0.1 m2 /year) were greatest. Drift rates were not related positively to density in the benthos over an entire year, but drift rates were correlated positively and significantly (r = .78 and .55 for day drift of O. sigma and B. biaaudatus, respectively) with density during the months of June-September for both O. sigma larvae and B. bicaudatus nymphs. Flow, distance below the spring source of Temple Fork, and densities of competing aquatic insects were other factors of significance in the multiple regression analyses of factors affecting drift rates of the two insects. The 17 independent variables in the multiple regression analyses accounted for 65 percent and 55 percent of the variability in day drift rates of o. sigma and B. bicaudatus, respectively.

The adults of O. sigma (but not those of B. bicaudatus) undertook a definite upstream migration estimated at 2-3 km. This flight of adults resulted in a concentration of eggs being laid in the upper reaches of the stream. The advantage of the upstream flight may be that it stores reproductive products in areas where they are relatively safe from the effects of anchor-ice in the winter and floods in late winter and early spring.

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