Simultaneous hourly net collections in a meadow and canyon reach of a mountain stream determined diel and spatial abundances of drifting Chironomidae larvae. Sixty-one taxa were identified to the lowest practical level, 52 in the meadow and 41 in the canyon. Orthocladiinae was the most abundant subfamily with 32 taxa and a 24 h mean density of 294 individuals 100 m-3 (meadow) and 26 taxa and a mean of 648 individuals 100 m-3 (canyon). Chironominae was the second most abundant subfamily. Nonchironomid invertebrates at both sites and total Chironomidae larvae (meadow) were predominantly night-drifting. Parakiefferiella and Psectrocladius were day-drifting (meadow) whereas 8 other chironomid taxa (meadow) and 2 taxa (canyon) were night-drifting. All others were aperiodic or too rare to test periodicity, Stempellinella cf brevis Edwards exhibited catastrophic drift in the canyon only. The different drift patterns between sites is attributed to greater loss of streambed habitat in the canyon compared to the meadow as streamflow decreased. Consequent crowding of chironomid larvae in the canyon caused catastrophic drift or interfered with drift periodicty. This study adds to knowledge of Chironomidae drift and shows influences on drift of hydrologic and geomorphic conditions. ?? 1989 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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Diel drift of Chironomidae larvae in a pristine Idaho mountain stream