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The role of competition in invertebrate community development in a recently formed stream in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Flory, E.A.; Milner, A.M. (1999). The role of competition in invertebrate community development in a recently formed stream in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Aquat. Ecol. 33(2): 175-184
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Flory, E.A.
  • Milner, A.M.

Abstract
    New streams formed following ice recession in Glacier Bay National Park, south-eastern Alaska allow insights into the role of abiotic and biotic interactions in the assemblage of benthic communities. Reductions in abundance of a pioneer chironomid colonizer, Diamesa alpina/lupus, in one new stream, Wolf Point Creek, is considered to be a result of competitive interactions with subsequent colonizers, as opposed to intolerance of warmer water temperature as previously suggested. Reduced densities of potential competitors (25-50 larvae per 500 cm²) in a cobble transplant experiment between streams, allowed persistence of D. alpina/lupus at low densities. In addition, significantly more D. alpina/lupus larvae emigrated from artificial stream channels containing other chironomid taxa than channels without potential competitors while there was no significant correlation of emigration with water temperature. A small number of D. alpina/lupus transplanted from a cold stream (4-6 °C) survived at water temperatures of 10-15 °C for 1 week. These results infer that interference competition is the causal mechanism in the decline of D. alpina/lupus. Complete exclusion of D. alpina/lupus from the stream has not occurred and water temperature may play a role in partitioning D. alpina/lupus from other taxa on a temporal or a spatial basis.

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