, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 235-242

The effect of partial and total drought on the macroinvertebrate communities of three small Danish streams

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Abstract

Three cases of partial or total drought were studied. A two weeks' stop of water flow with reduced water level and stagnant water was survived by most stream species. Only the population of Baetis rhodani Pict. was almost eliminated.

An unprecedented drought of 2-3 months reduced numbers of stream species. The differential effects are discussed in relationship to the behaviour, life cycle and physiology of the individual species.

After the drought many invaders were found, but most disappeared rapidly. Only Asellus aquaticus L. maintained a population in the stream.

In an intermittent stream with 3–4 months' drought no changes were observed, and many species were the same as those which survived in the second stream.

It is concluded that the consequences of an increasing frequency of drought, for example due to increasing ground water use, will depend on the species normally present and on the season and duration of the drought.