, Volume 185, Issue 1, pp 71–82 | Cite as

Upstream-downstream movements of aquatic invertebrates in a Rocky Mountain stream

  • Elizabeth A. Bergey
  • J. V. Ward


Simultaneous collections of drift and organisms moving either upstream or downstream in association with the substrate were made using a specially designed sampler. Samples were taken in a diel series along a transect across the study riffle of a Colorado foothills stream on six dates over an annual cycle. In addition to longitudinal movements, taxonomic composition and diel periodicity were evaluated. The insect-dominated fauna showed a net downstream displacement. Only the caddisflies Helicopsyche borealis and Hesperophylax occidentalis exhibited net upstream movement, primarily a result of low drift frequencies. The taxonomic composition of moving invertebrates differed from that of the benthos. Drift resembled downstream moving substrate-associated invertebrates in composition, but differed from that of the upstream directed fauna. Taxa collectively exhibited four types of diel patterns: 1) similar downstream (drift and substrate-associated movements) patterns, which generally differed from the upstream pattern; 2) similar benthic (upstream and downstream) patterns, which differed from that of drift; 3) aperiodic patterns; and 4) independent patterns for each type of directional movement. Analysis of size classes based on head capsule width for the mayfly Baetis tricaudatus showed significantly smaller size in stationary individuals compared with moving individuals in the population and revealed that nymphs moving during the day were smaller than those moving at night.

Key words

invertebrate drift upstream movement diel periodicity aquatic insects 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Bergey
    • 1
  • J. V. Ward
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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