, Volume 545, Issue 1, pp 55-64

Flow permanence and macroinvertebrate community diversity within groundwater dominated headwater streams and springs

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The response of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities to flow permanence within limestone springs and headwater streams was examined across the English Peak District. At the regional scale, macroinvertebrate communities of perennial and intermittent springs displayed significant differences in the number of taxa, macroinvertebrate community abundance, diversity indices (Shannon and Simpson indices) and the Berger–Parker dominance index at intermediate discharge. However, no significant difference was recorded between intermittent and perennial sites at high discharge or when all sampling occasions were pooled. At the catchment scale, the number of taxa, community abundance and Bray–Curtis similarity coefficients within the River Lathkill differed significantly between intermittent springs and other habitats. At both the regional and catchment scale the macroinvertebrate communities of intermittent springs were characterised by a small number of taxa displaying life cycle adaptations to intermittent aquatic habitats, particularly Trichoptera.