The impact of a catastrophic storm event on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in upland headwater streams and potential implications for ecological diversity and assessment of ecological status

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dc.contributor.author Feeley, Hugh B.
dc.contributor.author Davis, Stephen
dc.contributor.author Bruen, Michael
dc.contributor.author Blacklocke, Sean
dc.contributor.author Kelly-Quinn, Mary
dc.date.accessioned 2013-04-03T11:35:14Z
dc.date.available 2013-04-03T11:35:14Z
dc.date.copyright 2012, Page Press en
dc.date.issued 2012-07-24
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Limnology en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4221
dc.description.abstract Upland headwater streams are dynamic systems, responding rapidly to changes in climatic conditions. This study examined the effects of a catastrophic rainfall event, that occured on 24 October 2011 on the east coast of Ireland, on the macroinvertebrate community composition and structure of four headwater streams in the river Liffey catchment located in the Wicklow Mountains. The ecological status before and after the storm were also evaluated. The water level and pH of each stream were recorded using continuous monitoring equipment, while rainfall data for the study period were sourced from a local weather station. Benthic macroinvertebrates were investigated before and after the storm event using Surber sampling. Results showed rapid and large increases in water level and significant declines in stream pH in response to intensive rainfall during the storm. The high water levels also caused major physical damage and abrasion in all four streams, that significantly altered instream habitats. The storm event induced significant losses to the richness and/or density of most taxonomic groups, with the exception of the Plecoptera. Furthermore, the overall community composition and structure changed significantly, most likely as a result of physical disturbance, given the relative persistence of acid-sensitive taxa and the relatively short period of harsh acidic conditions (<5 pH). Interestingly however, the ecological status of each of the four study sites, tested using Stream Risk Score (SSRS), Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) and the Average Score Per Taxon (ASPT) indices, was unaltered by the loss in richness and densities. This was likely a result of the maintenance of plecopteran richness and the absence of organic pollution, thus highlighting the need to develop appropriate indices to assess the ecological status of streams and rivers affected by physical disturbance caused by large storm events. Ultimately, catastrophic storm events in upland headwater streams have potentially major implications for the maintenance of regional macroinvertebrate diversity within affected regions. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Page Press en
dc.subject Ireland en
dc.subject Acidification en
dc.subject Bioassessment en
dc.subject Biodiversity en
dc.subject Climate en
dc.subject Disturbance en
dc.title The impact of a catastrophic storm event on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in upland headwater streams and potential implications for ecological diversity and assessment of ecological status en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.internal.authorcontactother michael.bruen@ucd.ie
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.internal.webversions http://www.jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/jlimnol.2012.e32
dc.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.volume 71 en
dc.identifier.issue 2 en
dc.identifier.startpage 309 en
dc.identifier.endpage 318 en
dc.neeo.contributor Feeley|Hugh B.|aut|
dc.neeo.contributor Davis|Stephen|aut|
dc.neeo.contributor Bruen|Michael|aut|
dc.neeo.contributor Blacklocke|Sean|aut|
dc.neeo.contributor Kelly-Quinn|Mary|aut|
dc.description.othersponsorship EPA STRIVE en
dc.description.admin for the following collections (i) School of Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering (ii) Centre for Water Resources Research &(iii) School of Biology and Environmental Science en
dc.description.admin AMS en
dc.internal.rmsid 314885774
dc.date.updated 2013-01-25T12:18:43Z


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