Skip to Main Content
Effects of forest fire on headwater stream macroinvertebrate communities in eastern Washington, U.S.A.Author(s): Cassie D. Mellon; Mark S. Wipfli; Judith L. Li
Source: Freshwater Biology. 53: 2331-2343
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: View PDF (11.8 MB)
Description1. Recent increases in fire frequency in North America have focused interest on potential effects on adjacent ecosystems, induding streams. Headwaters could be particularly affected because of their high connectivity to riparian and downstream aquatic ecosystems through aquatic invertebrate drift and emergence. 2. Headwater streams from replicated burned and control catchments were sampled in 2 years following an intense forest fire in northeastern Washington (U.S.A.). We compared differences in benthic, drift, and emergent macroinvertebrate density, biomass, and community composition between five burned and five unburned catchments (14 to 135 ha). 3. There were significantly higher macroinvertebrate densities in burned than control sites for all sample types. Macroinvertebrate biomass was greater at burned sites only from emergence samples; in benthic and drift samples there was no significant difference between burn and control sites. 4. For all sample types, diversity was lower in the burned catchments, and the macroinvertebrate community was dominated by chironomid midges. 5. Compared to the effects of fire in less disturbed ecosystems, this study illustrated that forest fire in a managed forest may have greater effects on headwater macroinvertebrate communities, influencing prey flow to adjacent terrestrial and downstream aquatic habitats for at least the first 2 years postfire.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMellon, Cassie D.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Li, Judith L. 2008. Effects of forest fire on headwater stream macroinvertebrate communities in eastern Washington, U.S.A. Freshwater Biology. 53: 2331-2343
KeywordsForest management, headwater stream, macroinvertebrate, prey subsidy, wildfire
- Long–term functional group recovery of lotic macroinvertebrates from logging disturbance.Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
- Assessment of streamside management zones for conserving benthic macroinvertebrate communities following timber harvest in eastern Kentucky headwater catchments
- Persistent effects of wildfire and debris flows on the invertebrate prey base of rainbow trout in Idaho streams
XML: View XML