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A comparative study of colonization by benthos in a lake and its outflowing stream

journal contribution
posted on 1998-06-01, 00:00 authored by Gerry QuinnGerry Quinn, P S Lake, E S G Schreiber
1. The patterns of colonization of littoral benthos onto hard substrata on an exposed and a sheltered shore of Lake Purrumbete in Victoria, Australia, and the riffles of its outflow stream (Curdies River) were examined experimentally in winter and summer. The common taxa in the lake (gastropods, amphipods, isopods, planarians, ostracods) also occurred in the stream, although they were not abundant. The stream fauna was dominated by insects. 2. Defaunated half-bricks were sampled at each of three sites at the three different locations (exposed shore, sheltered shore, stream) in winter and summer at weekly or biweekly intervals, with natural stones also being sampled during the colonization period. Colonization patterns of individual taxa which occurred in both the lake and stream, and stream-only taxa, were compared using ANOVA, and the changes in the assemblage through time and between locations were analysed with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) and analysis of similarities (ANOSIM). 3. Colonization in the lake was very rapid, with species richness and assemblage composition on bricks after just one day matching that of natural stones. Colonization in the stream was slower, the assemblage composition not matching natural stones after 42 days in winter but being comparable after 28 days in summer. There was considerable species turnover during colonization in the stream, but little turnover in the lake, with most common taxa back after one day. There was little difference between the two lake shores in colonization patterns. 4. Taxa that occurred in both lake and stream showed broadly similar patterns of colonization, with early occupancy at high densities. In contrast, stream insects showed a variety of colonization strategies. 5. These results indicate that rates and patterns of colonization on to hard substrata are quite different in Lake Purrumbete compared with its outflowing stream. The rapid colonization in this lake indicates great mobility for much of the fauna on hard substrata, possibly by swimming, benthic crawling or passive drift (even attached to floating vegetation). This may be an appropriate strategy in lake littoral zones where the amount of inhabitable hard substrata and accompanying food resources may be limited.



Freshwater biology






623 - 635


John Wiley & Sons


Chichester, Eng.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1998, John Wiley & Sons Ltd