Effects of overhead canopy on macroinvertebrate production in a Utah stream

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Freshwater Biology



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overhead canopy, macroinvertebrate, Utah, stream

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1. Macroinvertebrate abundance and production were compared between an open and shaded site of a stream in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah. Mean biomass was significantly higher at the open site for midges (Chironomidae), 4.6x; Baetis bicaudatus, 5.7x; Baetis tricaudatus, 2.3x; Drunella coloradensis, 12x and Cinygmula sp., L6x. Abundance of most other macroinvertebrates (except black flies: Simuliidae) was also greater at the open site, but differences were not significant. Black fly biomass was 1.7x greater at the shaded site. 2. Seasonal production, estimated by the size-frequency and instantaneous growth rate methods, was greater at the open site than the shaded site for most taxa (except black flies) and reflected differences in standing crops between the sites rather than differences in rate of growth. Excluding black flies, production at the open site was twice as high as at the shaded site. 3. The greater abundance and production of most invertebrate taxa at the open site is probably associated with either higher quality food (algae and algal detritus), or a phototactic attraction to sunlit areas. 4. Sampling of large cobbles was an efficient method of sampling all taxa except Cinygmula sp. which was more abundant on smaller substrate particles.

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