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SFS Annual Meeting

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HOW DOES STREAM DRYING INFLUENCE MACROINVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES ACROSS CLIMATE GRADIENTS? A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN DESERT, GRASSLAND, AND FORESTED STREAMS.

Intermittent streams are extremely common in the contiguous United States, occurring in all terrestrial biomes. One might expect differences in how drying impacts stream communities across broad climate gradients due to predicted differences in drying duration and intensity in arid versus mesic climates. But cross-biome comparisons of how drying influences stream communities are scarce. We studied the impacts of drying on macroinvertebrate communities in three riverine systems across a broad climate gradient: a forested stream in southeastern Oklahoma; a grassland stream in northeastern Kansas, and a desert stream in central Arizona. Within each stream network, ten sites were chosen among 1st-4th order wadeable streams, with varying degrees of water permanence throughout the year. Sites were instrumented with a time-lapse camera system and stream temperature/conductivity sensors to gather data on surface water presence and flow state. Macroinvertebrates were collected quarterly at each site when surface water was present. Here we describe the first results from this research project, integrating flow, temperature, and insect data to understand how stream benthic macroinvertebrate communities are shaped by stream drying patterns across broad spatial scales.

Daniel Allen (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Oklahoma, dcallen@ou.edu;


Michelle Busch (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Oklahoma, buschmh@ou.edu;