Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of fine sediment inputs from a logging road on stream insect communities:a large-scale experimental approach in a Canadian headwater stream. 2005. Kreutzweiser, D.P.; Capell, S.S.; Good, K.P. Aquatic Ecology 39: 55-66.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25851

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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A forest headwater stream was manipulated (logging road-crossing amended) to induce fine sediment inputs. Benthic inorganic sediment concentrations .particles 1.5–250 ?m increased from a 2-year pre-disturbance average of about 800 g m–2 to over 5000 g m–2 that persisted for 3 years. Aquatic insect communities were examined over the 5-year study period in the manipulated and nearby reference streams. Overall, the effects of the fine sediment increases on aquatic insect communities were minimal. There were no significant effects of sedimentation on total aquatic insect abundance or biomass. An index of multivariate dispersion gave no evidence of community stress at the manipulated site. Multivariate ordination plots and time trends among univariate community metrics indicated only subtle changes in community structure. Among the univariate metrics (16 time series analyses in total), six gave evidence of a sediment impact on aquatic insect communities. Of those, the clearest indications of an effect were small reductions in diversity and richness of spring communities. These resulted from a significant decline in the proportion of spring shredders, accompanied by a significant increase in the percent Chironomidae. This large-scale experimental approach integrated the realism of a whole-stream study with the control of a manipulative study by including pre-manipulation measurements and excluding other confounding catchment disturbances. In this regard, it may provide a more realistic measure of benthic community level responses to sedimentation in streams at a magnitude associated with logging activity than many previous studies.