, Volume 693, Issue 1, pp 39–53

Hydroclimatic and hydrochemical controls on Plecoptera diversity and distribution in northern freshwater ecosystems


    • Northern Rivers Institute, School of GeosciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
  • Doerthe Tetzlaff
    • Northern Rivers Institute, School of GeosciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
  • Chris Soulsby
    • Northern Rivers Institute, School of GeosciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
  • Jim Buttle
    • Department of GeographyTrent University
  • Sean K. Carey
    • School of Geography and Earth SciencesMcMaster University
  • Hjalmar Laudon
    • Forest Ecology and Management, SLU
  • Jeffrey J. McDonnell
    • Northern Rivers Institute, School of GeosciencesUniversity of Aberdeen
    • Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and ManagementOregon State University
  • Kevin McGuire
    • Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Water Resources Research CenterVirginia Tech
  • Jan Seibert
    • Department of GeographyUniversity of Zurich
    • Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary GeologyStockholm University
  • Richard Cunjak
    • Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology and the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental ManagementUniversity of New Brunswick
  • Jamie Shanley
    • US Geological Survey
Primary Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-012-1085-1

Cite this article as:
Kruitbos, L.M., Tetzlaff, D., Soulsby, C. et al. Hydrobiologia (2012) 693: 39. doi:10.1007/s10750-012-1085-1


Freshwater ecosystems in the mid- to upper-latitudes of the northern hemisphere are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change as slight changes in air temperature can alter the form, timing, and magnitude of precipitation and consequent influence of snowmelt on streamflow dynamics. Here, we examine the effects of hydro-climate, flow regime, and hydrochemistry on Plecoptera (stonefly) alpha (α) diversity and distribution in northern freshwater ecosystems. We characterized the hydroclimatic regime of seven catchments spanning a climatic gradient across the northern temperate region and compared them with estimates of Plecoptera genera richness. By a space-for-time substitution, we assessed how warmer temperatures and altered flow regimes may influence Plecoptera alpha diversity and composition at the genus level. Our results show wide hydroclimatic variability among sites, including differences in temporal streamflow dynamics and temperature response. Principal component analysis showed that Plecoptera genera richness was positively correlated with catchment relief (m), mean and median annual air temperature (°C), and streamflow. These results provide a preliminary insight into how hydroclimatic change, particularly in terms of increased air temperature and altered streamflow regimes, may create future conditions more favorable to some Plecopteras in northern catchments.


Catchment inter-comparisonNorthern temperate regionsHydroclimaticStreamflowPlecopteraAlpha diversityClimate change

Supplementary material

10750_2012_1085_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012