Skip to main content
  • Textbook
  • © 2007

Stream Ecology

Structure and function of running waters

  • The only text in this field that provides a comprehensive treatment of all relevant topics

  • Written with the express goal of being accessible to students with only modest backgrounds in ecology and aquatic sciences. The First Edition was widely praised for its readability – students liked the writing because they could easily follow it – and that emphasis is retained

  • Thoroughly updated to include the major advances in stream ecology developed in the last 10 years

  • States principles clearly and succinctly, but includes well-chosen examples that enrich the concepts and provide insights into how studies are conducted in the lab or the field, and where there is controversy or uncertainty

  • Will appeal to those interested in fundamental principles and to those looking for applications to real-world problems

  • Every chapter received thorough reviews from at least two specialists to ensure accuracy as well as inclusion of the most important examples

Buying options

eBook USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4020-5583-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiv
  2. Streamflow

    Pages 13-32
  3. Fluvial geomorphology

    Pages 33-56
  4. Streamwater chemistry

    Pages 57-74
  5. Primary producers

    Pages 105-134
  6. Detrital energy sources

    Pages 135-161
  7. Trophic relationships

    Pages 163-196
  8. Species interactions

    Pages 197-227
  9. Lotic communities

    Pages 229-254
  10. Nutrient dynamics

    Pages 255-285
  11. Human impacts

    Pages 317-357
  12. Back Matter

    Pages 373-436

About this book

Stream Ecology: Structure and Function of Running Waters is designed to serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and as a reference source for specialists in stream ecology and related fields. The Second Edition is thoroughly updated and expanded to incorporate significant advances in our understanding of environmental factors, biological interactions, and ecosystem processes, and how these vary with hydrological, geomorphological, and landscape setting.

The broad diversity of running waters – from torrential mountain brooks, to large, lowland rivers, to great river systems whose basins occupy sub-continents – makes river ecosystems appear overwhelming complex. A central theme of this book is that although the settings are often unique, the processes at work in running waters are general and increasingly well understood.

Even as our scientific understanding of stream ecosystems rapidly advances, the pressures arising from diverse human activities continue to threaten the health of rivers worldwide. This book presents vital new findings concerning human impacts, and the advances in pollution control, flow management, restoration, and conservation planning that point to practical solutions.

Reviews of the first edition:

".. an unusually lucid and judicious reassessment of the state of stream ecology"
Science Magazine

"..provides an excellent introduction to the area for advanced undergraduates and graduate students…" Limnology & Oceanography

"… a valuable reference for all those interested in the ecology of running waters."
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society


  • Ecology
  • algae
  • ecosystem
  • ecosystem processes
  • ecosystems
  • environment
  • geomorphology
  • hydrology
  • microorganism
  • nutrient cycling
  • phytoplankton
  • plankton


From the reviews of the second edition:

"There is a continual need for current introductory material in key ecological areas. … This is an interesting text. It has a wealth of detail … that means it is for the more ‘advanced’ beginner. … However, it does provide both teachers and field study centres with a much-needed overview of stream ecology. … Overall, a must for the field centre and a good starter text in stream ecology." (TEN News, October, 2007)

"Allan and Castillo offer this superb compilation of both the latest and time-honored concepts of the ecology of fluvial systems at scales ranging from small mountain brooks to large, continental- sized river basins. Richly illustrated and with more than 1,500 reference citations, the book is divided into 14 chapters … . Best of all, the book is written in a lively, engaging manner and with remarkable clarity, given the technical nature of the material. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." (P. R. Pinet, CHOICE, Vol. 45 (7), 2008)

"The second edition of the book ‘Stream Ecology’ covers the key ecological factors and processes in a very variable ecosystem … . I recommend ‘Stream Ecology’ to people with knowledge of the basics of ecology, e.g., graduates and advanced undergraduates … . To my knowledge, there is no other book available, which gives such a good overview of the issue. One gets a very good, fluidly readable book which contains the latest key scientific knowledge of the ecology of running waters." (Daniel Graeber, International Review of Hydrobiology, Vol. 94 (2), 2009)

Authors and Affiliations

  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

    J. David Allan

  • Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela

    Marí M. Castillo

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4020-5583-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)