Population characteristics of Gammarus pulex (L.) from five English streams
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Gammarus pulex were sampled from five English streams during April 1992. The population density, number of precopula pairs and incidence of parasitic infection were recorded, and the biomass was estimated from subsamples by relating body area to dry weight. Physical and chemical measurements were taken from each stream. The abundance and standing crop biomass differed significantly between streams, probably due to the influence of pollutants or the physical structure of the stream bed. The size of individual G. pulex also differed significantly between streams, although there was no obvious causal explanation for this. Few individuals were visibly parasitised in any of the populations. Males were significantly larger than females, both in precopula pairs and in the general populations. The sex ratio differed between populations and may explain inter-stream differences in the relationship between precopula male and female size.
Key wordsGammarus pulex populations biomass reproduction
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