Date of Award

1971

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Benthic invertebrates have long been recognized to be important to the stream ecosystem as food organisms for fish. Changes in the stream environment are often reflected in the population of benthic invertebrates.

Percival and Whitehead (1929) found that insects comprise from about 60% to over 90% of the bottom fauna. They noted that the Chironomidae often made up a significant portion (40%) of mast samples.

In this investigation the Chironomidae (Diptera:Nematocera) ware selected for particular attention because of their importance as fish food and their numerical abundance. Other organisms ware included in the study in an attempt to clarify the relationship of the Chironomidae to the total community.

Weekly physical and chemical measurements were made throughout the study in an effort to determine some of the natural stresses these organisms must encounter. Three stations were selected to determine water chemistry changes along the length of the stream. It is possible that chemical differences may be reflected in the invertebrate communities observed.

It is hoped that through such studies, eventually, a better understanding of how ecological factors are involved in the fluctuations of benthic communities will develop.

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