Community structure and functioning below the streambed across contrasting geologies

Mark Dunscombe, Anne Robertson, Ignacio Peralta-Maraver, Peter Shaw

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There is little understanding of the variability in the structure and function of metazoan hyporheic communities across streams draining geologies that weather to produce different pore sizes and, by extension, different hydrological conditions. In this study we selected two catchments in each of three geologies that had differing values of hydraulic conductivity and porosity, and sampled four riffles in each catchment at high and low water levels and at two depths. We found clear differences in the physical template of streams draining different geologies and in the composition and abundance of communities inhabiting the hyporheic zones of streams draining chalk/ sandstone and limestone geologies. However, we did not detect any significant differences in body size, biomass or functional measures (diversity, richness, redundancy) between the geologies. Our findings imply that the hyporheic zones of all the catchments had similar ecological functioning suggesting that ecosystem functioning in streams draining geologies that produce fine grain sediments may be similar to those draining geologies that produce coarse grained sediments irrespective of differences in the physical template and community structure.

© 2018, . The attached document (embargoed until 07/03/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2018

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