, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 145–181 | Cite as

The influence of substrate particle size on the microdistribution of stream macrobenthos

  • Kenneth W. Cummins
  • George H. Lauff


Substrate microhabitat preferences of ten species of benthic macroinvertebrates were investigated in a laboratory flowing water system and compared with preliminary field data. Eight particle size categories of both silted and non-silted substrates were tested in the laboratory.

The correspondence between field and laboratory data indicated primary microhabitat selection on the basis of substrate particle size by the stonefly Perlesta placida, the riffle beetle Stenelmis crenata and the caddisflies Pycnopsyche guttifer and P. lepida. Broad substrate responses in the laboratory and lack of correspondence with field data indicated a secondary importance of substrate particle size in microhabitat selection by the pulmonate snail Helisoma anceps, the caddisfly Helicopsyche borealis, the cranefly Tipula caloptera, the alderfly Sialis vagans and the mayflies Caenis latipennis and Ephemera simulans.

Silting had minor effects on substrate selection patterns in all species tested except Caenis latipennis and Perlesta placida in which it enhanced selection for the intersticies of coarse sediments.


Silt Size Category Secondary Importance Benthic Macroinvertebrates Selection Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Die Vorliebe für Substratarten mit Rücksicht auf die Substratpartikelgrösse von zehn Arten im Benthos lebender Wirbelloser wurde in einer Labor-Fliesswasseranlage untersucht und mit vorläufigen Feldergebnissen verglichen. Acht Anordnungen von Substratpartikelgrössen, sowohl verschlammt als auch nicht verschlammt, wurden im Labor untersucht.

Die Entsprechung zwischen Feld- und Laborergebnissen zeigte dass die Wahl des Lebensraumes in erster Linie durch die Substratpartikelgrösse bestimmt wurde für die Steinfliege Perlesta placida, den Hakenkäfer Stenelmis crenata und die Köcherfliegen Pycnopsyche gutiffer und P. lepida. Die breite Streuwirkung des Substrates im Labor und der Mangel an Übereinstimmung mit den Feldergebnissen zeigte, dass die Substratpartikelgrösse in der Wahl des Lebensraumes eine untergeordnete Rolle spielte bei der Lungenschnecke Helisoma anceps, der Köcherfliege Helicopsyche borealis, der Schnake Tipula caloptera, der Schlammfliege Sialis vagans und den Eintagsfliegen Caenis latipennis and Ephemera s simulans.

Die Verschlammung hatte geringen Effekt auf die Auswahl des Substratesbei allen untersuchten Arten mit Ausnahme von Caenis latipennis und Perlesta placida. In diesen Fällen verstärkte sich die Besiedlung wegen der Zwischenräume in dem groben Sediment.


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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk Publishers 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth W. Cummins
    • 1
  • George H. Lauff
    • 1
  1. 1.Kellogg Biological Station Michigan State UniversityUSA

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