Population and community ecology of stream macroinvertebrates: the role of disturbance
Quantifying factors that influence the abundance, distribution, or diversity of species within communities is a major focus of ecology and conservation biology. As concerns for the preservation and maintenance of worldwide biodiversity increase, identifying and understanding these factors becomes a critical endeavor. This goal should not be limited to large preserves of endangered habitat such as Yellowstone National Park or the plains of Africa. Indeed, knowledge gained from addressing such topics in small, accessible localities is of interest in its own right, and may prove useful when dealing with endangered habitats. Streams play vital roles in terrestrial ecosystems, as a source of water, in cycling nutrients, and as habitat for many organisms during part or all of their life cycles. This study assesses factors that affect the community structure of streams(i.e. the distribution, abundance, and diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates).