Recolonisation of four small streams in central Scotland following drought conditions in 1984
Four streams in the Loch Ard Forest in central Scotland dried out almost completely during a drought in the summer of 1984. The recovery of the invertebrate populations in the streams was studied from September 1984 until March 1985 when most of the insect larvae and nymphs were almost full-grown.
The appearance of very small larvae belonging to several insect orders within a month of the streams' filling up suggests that they had survived the drought as eggs, or eggs had been laid by adults soon after the drought ended.
Statistical analysis showed that with the exception of 3 taxa there was no significant difference between the numbers of animals in November 1984 samples and in samples collected in March 1985.
Comparison of samples from March 1984 and March 1985 showed significant difference in population size for a few species; with 2 exceptions the 1984 samples (ie before drought) were larger. In the long term the overall effect of the drought on the invertebrate communities seems to have been limited.
Key wordsstream benthos drought recolonisation
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