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SFS Annual Meeting

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Body size is an important life history trait that affects all aspects of an organism’s existence. A common method of analyzing body size is to create a biomass size spectrum of individuals sampled within an area. While studies in temperate regions have shown that the slopes of benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) size spectra are highly consistent, there is limited understanding of whether consistency exists in the Arctic. We collected BMI kick net samples in rivers in four areas of the western Canadian Arctic: Peel Plateau, NWT; Cambridge Bay, NU; Sachs Harbour, NWT; and Aulavik National Park, NWT. Individuals were measured and normalized biomass size spectra were created and analyzed for variations in slope using GLMs. Size spectra slopes were not consistent among sample sites, varying from -2.2 to 2.9. The number of size classes also differed, with the largest size class found at a site ranging from 500 to 65 500 mg biomass. These results suggest BMI size spectra do not display the same consistency in the Arctic as has been shown in temperate regions, which may be a response to the harsh Arctic environment.

Joseph M. Culp (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment and Climate Change Canada and Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3C5,;

Jennifer Lento (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick,;

Allison Dykstra (Primary Presenter/Author), University of New Brunswick,;