Donald M McDowell; Robert J Naiman
||Fig. 1. Map showing the location of the Matamek River watershed and the study site. Sampling was confined to sites above and below dam No. 3
Fig. 2. A, B. Graphical representation of the study area illustrating the location of the four sites; U upstream riffle, R reach, P pond, D downstream riffle. A Channel morphology during high flow (spring and autumn); B during low flow (summer)
Fig. 6. Results of the cluster analysis showing the dendogram for each season. Species assemblages are numbered from 1 to 12 in each season reflecting the linear arrangement of sample locations from the furthest downstream site (# 1, a riffle) to the furthest upstream site (# 12, a riffle). Site designations are as in Fig. 2
Beaver (Castor canadensis) affect the benthic invertebrate community of small woodland streams in Quebec through habitat modifications. Their activities influence community structure through the replacement of lotic taxa by lentic forms and community function by increasing the absolute importance of collectors and predators while decreasing the relative importance of shredders and scrapers in impounded sites. At our study site during the 1983 ice-free season, standing stocks of coarse particulate organic matter (> 1 mm) were 2-5 times greater (P < 0.05) in impounded sites than riffle sites in spring and summer. Fine (212 μm-1 mm) and very fine (0.5 μm-212 μm) particulate organic matter were 3-10 times greater (P < 0.05) in impounded sites in all seasons. Chlorophyll a standing stocks did not differ statistically among sites. Total density and biomass of invertebrates in impoundments were 2-5 times greater (P < 0.05) than riffle sites in spring and summer, but statistically similar in autumn. Generic diversity (H′) was greater (P < 0.05) in unaltered sites in autumn. Non-impounded sites were dominated by Simuliidae, Tanytarsini chironomids, scraping mayflies and net spinning caddisflies while impounded sites were characterized by Tanypodinae and Chironomini chironomids, predacious odonates, Tubificidae, and filtering pelycopods. Our results suggest that current paradigms applied to lotic ecosystems need to be reevaluated to incorporate the influence of beaver upon invertebrate communities.