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Invertebrate Drift

Slow reaches like this pool in Marble Canyon tend to have low invertebrate drift concentrations, because benthic densities and shear stress are small in pools.

Slow reaches like this pool in Marble Canyon tend to have low invertebrate drift concentrations, because benthic densities and shear stress are small in pools.

 


Invertebrate drift is a fundamental process in streams and rivers, because it is critical to maintenance of benthic invertebrate populations and provides a key mechanism of resource delivery to drift feeding fishes.  Our Group is quantifying invertebrate drift in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyon to describe how prey availability for fishes varies spatially, and to better understand the effect that river regulation has on invertebrate drift concentrations and invertebrate populations.

 

Juvenile rainbow trout in Glen Canyon feeding on drifting invertebrates

Juvenile rainbow trout in Glen Canyon feeding on drifting invertebrates.

 

Riffle areas like these tend to have high invertebrate drift concentrations because riffles support high densities of benthic invertebrates and shear stress is low in these locations

Riffle areas like these tend to have high invertebrate drift concentrations because riffles support high densities of benthic invertebrates and shear stress is high in these locations.

 

 

Publications:
Cross, W.F., C.V. Baxter, K.C. Donner, E.J. Rosi-Marshall, T.A. Kennedy, R.O. Hall Jr., H.A. Wellard Kelly, and R.S. Rogers.  2011.  Ecosystem ecology meets adaptive management: food web response to a controlled flood on the Colorado River, Glen Canyon.  Ecological Applications 21: 2016-2033. doi:10.1890/10-1719.1

Kennedy, T.A., C.B. Yackulic, W.F. Cross, P.E. Grams, M.D. Yard, and A.J. Copp, In Press.  The relation between invertebrate drift and two primary controls, discharge and benthic densities, in a large regulated river.  Freshwater Biology

 

For questions or comments about any of these projects, please send an email to citizen_science@usgs.gov

 

Photo credit: Freshwater Illustrated/ US Geological Survey

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Last Update: November 3, 2011