What is stream ecology? The study of running water ecosystems with particular focus on the interrelationship of organisms and their environments. Chemical, Physical, Biological Processes STREAM ECOLOGY IS COMPLEX!!!!!!!!!
CHEMICAL PROCESSES chemical constituents: dissolved gases (O 2 , CO 2 ), dissolved solids (alkalinity, hardness), nutrient cycle (nitrogen, phosphorus, organic litter)
PHYSICAL PROCESSES: Vary with scale! Ecoregions – climate, soils, geology, landform, elevation, etc. Watersheds – size, shape, drainage patterns, drainage density, etc. Drainage Basin – valley segments, land cover, land use, gradient, stream order, etc.
PHYSICAL PROCESSES: Vary with scale! Stream Reach/Sample Site – riparian vegetation, macro and microhabitats, etc.
Interdependencies: The occurrence of some species is dependent on the presence of other species.
Plant-Herbivore Interactions Predator-Prey Interactions Trophic Relations of Macroinvertebrates Trophic Relations of Stream Fishes Habitat Use and Competition among Stream Fishes Stream Food Webs COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS
ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES <ul><li>Primary Productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Community Respiration </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Periphyton </li></ul><ul><li>Surface-Subsurface Interactions in Streams </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Production of Macroinvertebrates </li></ul><ul><li>Drift, Colonization, Emergence </li></ul><ul><li>Leaf Breakdown in Stream Ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Matter Budgets </li></ul>
WHY STUDY MACROINVERTEBRATES? They are everywhere and easy to collect. Important component of the food chain. Differing sensitivity to water quality conditions. Provide spatial and temporal information. THEY ARE VERY COOL!!