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Temporal patterns and environmental correlates of macroinvertebrate communities in temporary streams


Botwe, PK and Barmuta, LA and Magierowski, R and McEvoy, P and Goonan, P and Carver, S, Temporal patterns and environmental correlates of macroinvertebrate communities in temporary streams, PLoS ONE, 10, (11) Article e0142370. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2015 Botwe et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142370


Temporary streams are characterised by short periods of seasonal or annual stream flow after which streams contract into waterholes or pools of varying hydrological connectivity and permanence. Although these streams are widespread globally, temporal variability of their ecology is understudied, and understanding the processes that structure community composition in these systems is vital for predicting and managing the consequences of anthropogenic impacts. We used multivariate and univariate approaches to investigate temporal variability in macroinvertebrate compositional data from 13 years of sampling across multiple sites from autumn and spring, in South Australia, the driest state in the driest inhabited continent in the world. We examined the potential of land-use, geographic and environmental variables to predict the temporal variability in macroinvertebrate assemblages, and also identified indicator taxa, that is, those highly correlated with the most significantly associated physical variables. Temporal trajectories of macroinvertebrate communities varied within site in both seasons and across years. A combination of land-use, geographic and environmental variables accounted for 24% of the variation in community structure in autumn and 27% in spring. In autumn, community composition among sites were more closely clustered together relative to spring suggesting that communities were more similar in autumn than in spring. In both seasons, community structure was most strongly correlated with conductivity and latitude, and community structure was more associated with cover by agriculture than urban land-use. Maintaining temporary streams will require improved catchment management aimed at sustaining seasonal flows and critical refuge habitats, while also limiting the damaging effects from increased agriculture and urban developments.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community ecology, aquatic invertebrate
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Botwe, PK (Mr Paul Botwe)
UTAS Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
UTAS Author:Magierowski, R (Dr Regina Magierowski)
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:105644
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-01-12
Last Modified:2018-01-31
Downloads:309 View Download Statistics

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