The development and maintenance of stream community structure and organization Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nv935548s

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  • The goal of this study was to better understand stream communities through a perspective that might make their structure, organization, and development more understandable. This goal was approached through the following objectives: 1. To determine the assemblages of stream organisms and define subsystems within a stream community. 2. To explain the structure and organization of the subsystems by means of habitat, life history, trophic, and environmental relationships. 3. To explain how the community as a whole and the subsystems develop and persist through immigration, colonization, and subsystem interactions. An organismic perspective of stream communities is utilized in addressing the development and maintenance of stream community structure and organization. The conceptual framework of Warren et al. (1979) provides a perspective which emphasizes the importance of species interrelationships and interdspendencies within a community. This perspective is organismic in that it takes the view that communities exhibit organismic properties. It is hot organismic in the Clementsian sense that communities are metaphorical organisms. A hierarchical scheme of stream community subsystems is presented. Habitat organization is used to define 2° and 3° subsystems. Trophic organization defines 4° subsystems, and other aspects of life history organization define 5° subsystems. Two model streams were employed in this study of stream community structure and organization. The 2° subsystems, shallow riffles, deep riffles, and pools, were sampled for one year following initiation of the experiment. Community organization and development are described in terms of biomass and taxa numbers. Macroinvertebrate biomass and taxa number tended to be greater in riffle habitats than in pool habitats. Biomass in 2° and 3° subsystems generally in creased with time. Taxa number increased until early winter when it declined slightly. Changes in biomass and taxa number in 4° trophic subsystems and 5° species population subsystems are also discussed. Species pool, life history, and colonization determination of stream community structure and organization are addressed. The potential capacity of the stream community resides in the species pool. The pattern of kinds and abundances of species in space and time is partially determined by the life history patterns of the species. Colonizing ability of species populations affects the development and organization of stream communities. Downstream drift and aerial sources of colonists contributed to the colonization of the experimental streams in this study, although the relative importance of the two sources changed through time. Stream habitat and environment play important roles in stream community development and organization by providing shelter or cover and supplying needed resources. As the environment provided by a stream system impinges upon the stream community, there must be concordance between the community and its environment. The climatic parameters light and temperature and autochthonous and allochthonous inputs such as litter fall are discussed as environmental parameters that impinge on the model stream communities.
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