Differences in litter characteristics and macroinvertebrate assemblages between litter patches in pools and riffles in a headwater stream
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We compared the abundance of litter categories (coarse particulate organic matter 1–16 mm, leaves >16 mm, and small woody detritus 16–100 mm) and macroinvertebrate assemblages between natural litter patches in pools and riffles in a headwater stream. Litter patches in pools were formed under conditions of almost no current (<6 cm s−1), but in riffles they were formed under variable current velocities (13–89 cm s−1). Although the abundance of each litter category exhibited seasonal change, leaves were more abundant in riffles, and coarse particulate organic matter and small woody detritus were more abundant in pools throughout the study period. Macroinvertebrate assemblages in pools and riffles also changed seasonally but distinctly differed from each other. Shredders, collector-gatherers, and predators were the dominant functional groups in abundance in both pools and riffles, but the dominant shredders were caddisflies in pools and stoneflies in riffles. It is considered that the hydraulic conditions affected macroinvertebrate assemblages directly and indirectly through influences on the characteristics of litter retained in the patches. Our results suggest that the relative abundance of litter patches in pools and riffles largely affects the macroinvertebrate community structure of the headwater stream.
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