Journal article

Do pools impede drift dispersal by stream insects?

Andrew J Brooks, Benjamin Wolfenden, Barbara J Downes, Jill Lancaster



Drift of stream insects is one of the most ubiquitous forms of downstream dispersal and thought to be a key factor influencing the persistence of local populations. Identifying the factors that limit drift dispersal between habitat patches is needed to understand the connectivity of insect populations along river channels. We determined whether insects drifting between riffle habitats (i.e. patches of suitable habitat) were impeded by natural, slow-moving pools (i.e. unsuitable habitat), limiting dispersal to the next downstream riffle, by estimating drift rates entering and exiting pools. We also investigated whether the frequency of drift dispersal between riffle habitats decreased with in..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank to Tim Haeusler and Matthew Russell for working long days and late nights during field sampling. We are also grateful for the assistance of Dan Coleman in the field and laboratory. Snowy Hydro kindly provided access to many of the sampling locations. This project was funded by NSW Department of Primary Industry Water. Additional funding was provided by the University of Melbourne-School of Geography and a grant from the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment awarded to A. Brooks.