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    We examined the effects of a seven-year detrital exclusion on chironomid assemblages in an Appalachian headwater stream. We hypothesized that litter exclusion would lead to a reduction in all chironomids at both the subfamily and generic levels because organic matter serves as both food and habitat in these headwater streams. Tanytarsini total abundance and biomass significantly declined after litter exclusion. Before litter exclusion, Tanytarsini average abundance was 4271 * 1135 S.E. m-2 and 625 * 98 after litter exclusion. Biomass was 3.57 * 0.96 mg AFDM m-2 before litter exclusion and 1.03 * 0.9 after exclusion. In contrast, Orthocladiinae abundance and biomass did not change because a psammanophilic chironomid, Lopescladius sp., and other Orthocladiinae genera did not decline significantly. Overall chironomid taxa richness and diversity did not change as a result of litter exclusion. However, Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) of genus-level biomass did show a clear separation between the litter exclusion stream and a reference stream. Separation of taxa between the two streams was due to differences in fine ( r2 = 0.39) and coarse ( r2 = 0.36) organic matter standing stocks and the proportion of small inorganic substrates (r2 = 0.39) present within a sample. As organic matter declined in the litter exclusion stream, overall chironornid biomass declined and the chironomid communityassemblage changed. Tanytarsini were replaced by Orthocladiinae in the litter exclusion stream because they were better able to live and feed on biofilm associated with inorganic substrates.

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    Entrekin, Sally A.; Wallace, J. Bruce; Eggert, Susan L. 2007. The response of chironomidae (Diptera) to a long-term exclusion of terrestrial organic matter. Hydrobiologia, Vol. 575: 401-413


    benthos, chironomidae, detritus, resource limitation, bottom-up regulation

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