Environmental Management

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 516–527

Macroinvertebrate Responses to Constructed Riffles in the Cache River, Illinois, USA



Stream restoration practices are becoming increasingly common, but biological assessments of these improvements are still limited. Rock weirs, a type of constructed riffle, were implemented in the upper Cache River in southern Illinois, USA, in 2001 and 2003–2004 to control channel incision and protect high quality riparian wetlands as part of an extensive watershed-level restoration. Construction of the rock weirs provided an opportunity to examine biological responses to a common in-stream restoration technique. We compared macroinvertebrate assemblages on previously constructed rock weirs and newly constructed weirs to those on snags and scoured clay streambed, the two dominant substrates in the unrestored reaches of the river. We quantitatively sampled macroinvertebrates on these substrates on seven occasions during 2003 and 2004. Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) biomass and aquatic insect biomass were significantly higher on rock weirs than the streambed for most sample periods. Snags supported intermediate EPT and aquatic insect biomass compared to rock weirs and the streambed. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordinations for 2003 and 2004 revealed distinct assemblage groups for rock weirs, snags, and the streambed. Analysis of similarity supported visual interpretation of NMDS plots. All pair-wise substrate comparisons differed significantly, except recently constructed weirs versus older weirs. Results indicate positive responses by macroinvertebrate assemblages to in-stream restoration in the Cache River. Moreover, these responses were not evident with more common measures of total density, biomass, and diversity.


Macroinvertebrates Biological assessment EPT Stream restoration Artificial riffle Rock weir 


  1. Barbour MT, Gerritsen J, Snyder BD, Stribling JB (1999) Rapid bioassessment protocols for use in streams and wadeable rivers: periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish, second edition. EPA 841-B-99-002. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Wasington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. Baxter CV, Fausch KD, Saunders WC (2005) Tangled webs: reciprocal flows of invertebrate prey link streams and riparian zones. Freshwater Biology 50:201–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benke AC (1993) Concepts and patterns of invertebrate production in running waters. Verh Int Ver Theor Angew Limnol 25:15–38Google Scholar
  4. Benke AC, Huryn AD, Smock LA, Wallace JB (1999) Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the southeastern United States. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18:308–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernhardt ES, Palmer MA, Allan JD, Alexander G, Barnas K, Brooks S, Carr J, Clayton S, Dahm C, Follstad-Shah J, Galat D, Gloss S, Goodwin P, Hart D, Hassett B, Jenkinson R, Katz S, Kondolf GM, Lake PS, Lave R, Meyer JL, O’Donnell TK, Pagano L, Powell B, Sudduth E (2005) Synthesizing US river restoration efforts. Science 308:636–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brittain JE, Jan Eikeland T (1988) Invertebrate drift — a review. Hydrobiologia 166:77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brookes A, Sear DA (1996) Geomorphological principles for restoring channels. In: Brookes A, Shields FD (eds) River channel restoration: guiding principles for sustainable projects. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 75–101Google Scholar
  8. Brooks AJ, Haeusler T, Reinfelds I, Williams S (2005) Hydraulic microhabitats and the distribution of macroinvertebrate assemblages in riffles. Freshwater Biology 50:331–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brower JE, Zar JH, von Ende CN (1990) Field and laboratory methods for general ecology, third edition. William C. Brown, Dubuque, Iowa, USAGoogle Scholar
  10. Clarke KR (1993) Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Australian Journal of Ecology 18:117–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Demissie M (1997) Pages 3–25 in Cache River area assessment, Volume 1, Part I. Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Scientific Research and Analysis, State Water Survey Division, Champaign, Illinois, USAGoogle Scholar
  12. Dorge CL, Mitsch WJ, Wiemhoff JR (1984) Pages 393–404. In Ewel KC and Odum HT (eds) Cypress swamps. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  13. Drury DM, Kelso WE (2000) Invertebrate colonization of woody debris in coastal plain streams. Hydrobiologia 434:63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dufrene M, Legendre P (1997) Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetrical approach. Ecological Monographs 67:345–366Google Scholar
  15. Ebrahimnezhad M, Harper DM (1997) The biological effectiveness of artificial riffles in river rehabilitation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 7:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Edwards CJ, Griswold BL, Tubb RA, Weber EC, Woods LC (1984) Mitigating effects of artificial riffles and pools on the fauna of a channelized warmwater stream. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 4:194–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grubaugh JW, Wallace JB, Houston ES (1997) Production of benthic macroinvertebrate communities along a southern Appalachian river continuum. Freshwater Biology 37:581–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harper D, Ebrahimnezhad M, Cot FCI (1998) Artificial riffles in river rehabilitation: Setting the goals and measuring the successes. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 8:5–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harrison SSC, Pretty JL, Shepherd D, Hildrew AG, Smith C, Hey RD (2004) The effect of in-stream rehabilitation structures on macroinvertebrates in lowland rivers. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:1140–1154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huryn AD, Wallace JB (2000) Life history and production of stream aquatic insects. Annual Review of Entomology 45:83–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jaccard, J (1998) Interaction effects in factorial analysis of variance. Sage University Papers Series. Quantitative applications in the social sciences, no. 07-118. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks. 103 ppGoogle Scholar
  22. Laasonen P, Muotka T, Kivijärvi I (1998) Recovery of macroinvertebrate communities from stream habitat restoration. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 8:101–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCune B, Grace JB (2002) PC-ORD. Analysis of Ecological Communities. Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USAGoogle Scholar
  24. McCune B, Mefford MJ (1999) PC-ORD. Multivariate analysis of ecological data. Version 4.0. MjM Software, Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. Merritt RW, Cummins KW (eds) (1996) An introduction to the aquatic aquatic insects of North America, 3rd edition. Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, Iowa, USAGoogle Scholar
  26. Minchin PR (1987) An evaluation of the relative robustness of techniques for ecological ordination. Vegetatio 69:89–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Minchin PR (1998) DECODA: Database for Ecological Community Data, Version 3. Anutech Pty. Ltd., Canberra, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  28. Moerke AH, Gerard KJ, Latimore JA, Hellenthal RA, Lamberti GA (2004) Restoration of an Indiana, USA, stream: bridging the gap between basic and applied lotic ecology. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23:647–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Muotka T, Laasonen P (2002) Ecosystem recovery in restored headwater streams: the role of enhanced leaf retention. Journal of Applied Ecology 39:145–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Muotka T, Paavola R, Haapala A, Novikmec M, Laasonen P (2002) Long-term recovery of stream habitat structure and benthic invertebrate communities from in-stream restoration. Biological Conservation 105:243–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Newbury RW, Gaboury MN (1994) Stream analysis and fish habitat design: a field manual, second edition. Newbury Hydraulics Ltd., Gibsons, British Columbia, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  32. Newbury RW, Gaboury MN (1993) Exploration and rehabilitation of hydraulic habitats in streams using principles of fluvial behavior. Freshwater Biology 29:195–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Newbury, RW, Gaboury MN, and Bates DJ (1997) Restoring habitats in channelized or uniform streams using riffle and pool sequences. In Slaney PA and Zaldokas D (eds) Fish Habitat Rehabilitation Procedures. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Watershed Restoration Program, Technical Circular No. 9Google Scholar
  34. Palmer MA, Allan JD (2006) Restoring rivers. Issues in Science and Technology 22:40–48Google Scholar
  35. Rasband, WS (2005) ImageJ. U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/
  36. Rempel LL, Richardson JS, Healey MC (1999) Flow refugia for benthic macroinvertbrates during flooding of a large river. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18:34–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rempel LL, Richardson JS, Healey MC (2000) Macroinvertebrate community structure along gradients of hydraulic and sedimentary conditions in a large gravel-bed river. Freshwater Biology 45:57–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Smith DG (2001) Pennak’s freshwater invertebrates of the United States: Porifera to Crustacea, fourth edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York. 648 ppGoogle Scholar
  39. Statzner B, Resh VH (1993) Multiple-site and -year analyses of stream aquatic insect emergence: a test of ecological theory. Oecologia 96:65–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Walther DA, Whiles MR, Flinn MB, Butler DW (2006) Assemblage-level estimation of nontanypodine chironomid growth and production in a southern Illinois stream. J North Am Benthol Soc 25:444–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zar JH (1996) Biostatistical analysis, third edition. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, New JerseyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Center for EcologySouthern Illinois University CarbondaleCarbondaleUSA

Personalised recommendations