The influence of an in-stream thermal gradient on chironomid emergence during winter

Corrie Nyquist, Bruce Vondracek, Leonard Ferrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The River Continuum Concept (RCC) predicts that aquatic insect communities undergo predictable changes in composition from headwaters to downstream regions relative to changes in habitat. An important aspect of this change is stream temperature. Studies have been conducted on thermal partitioning of chironomids within the RCC and across streams with different thermal regimes; however, few have focused on effects of fine-scale within-stream temperature variability on winter chironomid composition. Our objectives were to characterize thermal heterogeneity within a small headwater trout stream during winter using slope and Y-intercepts from linear regressions of air–water temperatures and to document patterns of chironomid emergence and taxonomic composition relative to mean water temperatures, regression slopes, and Y-intercepts along stream length. We developed air–water temperature regressions using mean daily air and water temperatures for three headwater trout streams. We assessed similarity in taxonomic composition across sites by collecting and analyzing chironomid surface floating pupal exuviae. We demonstrate that regressions of mean daily air and water temperatures can characterize fine-scale thermal heterogeneity within and among headwater trout streams during winter. We also demonstrate that chironomid taxonomic composition varied at spatial scales substantially less than a kilometer within a stream that possessed significant thermal heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3153-3167
Number of pages15
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume847
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This publication is based upon research supported by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Grant MIN-17-031 to Leonard C. Ferrington, Jr., as Principal Investigator. Permission to conduct field work was given by the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Field assistance was provided by staff of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are available in the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM) 10.13020/752d-8970. We extend our gratitude to the two anonymous reviewers whose constructive comments and edits led to improvements in our manuscript.

Funding Information:
This publication is based upon research supported by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, and?the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Grant MIN-17-031 to Leonard C. Ferrington, Jr., as Principal Investigator. Permission to conduct field work was given by the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Field assistance was provided by staff of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are available in the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM) 10.13020/752d-8970. We extend our gratitude to the two anonymous reviewers whose constructive comments and edits led to improvements in our manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Aquatic insects
  • Community composition
  • Groundwater
  • Temperature preference
  • Water temperature

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