, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 169–175 | Cite as

Drift of stream invertebrates below a cave source

  • Thomas F. Waters


Stream invertebrate drift below the cave source of South Branch Creek, Minnesota, generally increased rapidly. Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera increased rapidly and then decreased at the lower stations (to 430 m) below the cave. Chironomidae drift, in high numbers but low biomass because of their small size, increased fairly rapidly and leveled out at the lowermost stations. Gastropods increased slowly below the cave, reached a maximum, then decreased somewhat at the lowermost station. Drifting oligochaetes, small in size but in very large numbers, increased more slowly below the cave and appeared not to have reached a maximum at the lowermost station. It was concluded that, in general, drift increases fairly rapidly below the stream origin and fluctuates in the upper reaches, probably reflecting benthic population abundance and local ecological conditions, before attaining equilibria downstream, rather than increasing linearly due to cumulative effects.


drift stream invertebrate drift cave stream karst topography 


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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas F. Waters
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Entomology, Fisheries, and WildlifeUniversity of MinnesotaSt. Paul

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