Multiscale patterns of spatial variation in stream macroinvertebrate communities
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2003
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 365–379, July 2003
How to Cite
BOYERO, L. (2003), Multiscale patterns of spatial variation in stream macroinvertebrate communities. Ecological Research, 18: 365–379. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1703.2003.00562.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2003
- Article first published online: 14 JUL 2003
- Received 23 July 2002. ; Accepted 4 December 2002.
- community variation;
- nested analysis of variance;
- spatial scales
Our ability to detect patterns of variation of communities depends on the spatial scale of observation. I examined the spatial variation of macroinvertebrate community structure: abundance, richness, evenness, percentage of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT), and taxonomic composition across a wide range of spatial scales in two mountain streams. In a nested design, three segments were selected within each basin, three riffles within each segment, three sections within each riffle, and three samples within each section. Significant variation of communities occurred mainly at sample and riffle scales, although different community characteristics may vary at different scales. Environmental factors were strongly related to communities, but these relationships depended on spatial scale in many cases, suggesting that the influence of the environment is ultimately regulated by the grain and extent of organisms. This study highlights the importance of multiscale studies to obtain a complete understanding of the spatial variation of macroinvertebrate communities and their relationship with the environment.