, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 217–224 | Cite as

The effect of drought on benthic invertebrate communities in a lowland river

  • C. A. Extence


Benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled at regular intervals from rural and urban sections of the River Roding, Essex, England, in 1975 and 1976. During the latter year a severe drought led to a marked decline in flows and to desiccation of parts of the river bed. In general, drought conditions resulted in an increase in invertebrate populations and possible reasons for this are presented. A considerable number of individuals of certain groups such as cased caddisfly larvae and prosobranch molluscs were, however, eliminated from the river at this time, mainly as a result of stranding and chemical changes in the environment. The effect of reduced flows on river faunas is briefly discussed.


river drought macroinvertebrates stranding colonization 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Extence
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Ecology Research GroupThe Polytechnic of Central LondonLondon
  2. 2.Lincolnshire River DivisionAnglian Water AuthorityBostonEngland

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