, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 187–194

Variable effects of sediment addition on stream benthos


  • David R. Lenat
    • North Carolina Division of Environmental Management
  • David L. Penrose
    • North Carolina Division of Environmental Management
  • Kenneth W. Eagleson
    • North Carolina Division of Environmental Management

DOI: 10.1007/BF00006126

Cite this article as:
Lenat, D.R., Penrose, D.L. & Eagleson, K.W. Hydrobiologia (1981) 79: 187. doi:10.1007/BF00006126


Two upper Piedmont streams were studied to determine the effects of road construction, especially sediment inputs. Benthic macroinvertebrate data suggest that the stream community responded to sediment additions in two different ways. Under high flow conditions the benthic fauna occurs mainly on rocky substrates. As sediment is added to a stream the area of available rock habitat decreases, with a corresponding decrease in benthic density. There is, however, little change in community structure. Under low flow conditions, stable-sand areas may support high densities of certain taxa. Density of the benthic macroinvertebrates in these areas may be much greater than the density recorded in control areas, and there are distinct changes in community structure.



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© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1981