Journal article

Catchment-scale urbanization diminishes effects of habitat complexity on instream macroinvertebrate assemblages

Julia Y White, Christopher J Walsh



While provision of in‐stream habitat complexity remains common practice in efforts to restore streams, the evidence of positive effects on in‐stream communities is inconsistent. In streams of urban catchments, where both reach‐scale habitat manipulation and catchment‐scale actions to ameliorate the disturbance regime of urban stormwater runoff are common management responses, clearer understanding of the effects of habitat complexity under different degrees of urban impact are needed. We experimentally assessed the effect of increased surface complexity in wood, the dominant hard substrate in our 18 study reaches on 14 small streams, on in‐stream macroinvertebrate assemblages across a range ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Linkage Program (LP0883610, which funded a postgraduate research award for J. Y. White), the Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership (funded by Melbourne Water) and Yarra Ranges Council. We thank Rhiannon Birch, Alena Glaister, and Jemima Milkins for assistance in the field and with sample processing; Will Morton for milling the experimental wood blocks; and Yung En Chee and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on the manuscript. We particularly thank Lee Hazel for advice on modeling and suggestions on the manuscript.