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Keywords:

  • discontinuous flow;
  • stream invertebrates;
  • detritus;
  • mountains;
  • desert

Abstract

McKittrick Creek, a discontinuous mountain-desert stream in Guadelupe Mountains National Park, Texas, was sampled at discrete locations (pools) to test for differences in biomass, density, species diversity, equitability, and species richness in the benthic macroinvertebrate community. Significant differences occurred among pools for these biotic characteristics of the benthic community along the downstream gradient. Pools connected by flow were more similar to each other than pools separated by dry reaches. Variation in the quantity of coarse detritus and periphyton best explained differences among pools.