Diversity of Large-Bodied Macroinvertebrates in Ponds Created on the Debris-Avalanche Deposit Following the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens

  • Shannon M. ClaesonEmail author
  • Charles M. Crisafulli
  • William J. Gerth


The numerous ponds formed in the weeks following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens provided a unique opportunity to investigate macroinvertebrate communities in young (23- to 25-year-old) fishless ponds following a large natural disturbance. Over a 3-year period, Large-bodied macroinvertebrates were sampled from 97 ponds with a range of hydroperiods and biophysical characteristics. Macroinvertebrate communities from these ponds were spatially and temporally variable in spite of their close geographical proximity, shared regional species pool, and similar creation history. We identified 110 taxa, many of which were observed at only one pond or in only one year. Community differences appeared to be influenced more by pond size and riparian tree development rather than by hydroperiod alone, and stochastic colonization events were likely an important factor determining community composition.



We acknowledge the taxonomic skills and efforts provided by the National Aquatic Monitoring Center (Logan, UT) and specialists Dr. Luke Jacobus, Dr. Dennis Paulson, Doug Post, and Rich Van Driesche. We thank Hans Purdom, Eric Lund, Aimee McIntyre, and Juniper Tagliabue for assistance with field work and Rachel Chai for assistance with lab work. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, provided access to the study area. This work was funded through the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon M. Claeson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Charles M. Crisafulli
    • 2
  • William J. Gerth
    • 3
  1. 1.U.S. Department of AgricultureForest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Wenatchee Forestry Sciences LaboratoryWenatcheeUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Department of AgricultureForest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic MonumentAmboyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Fisheries and WildlifeOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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