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Benthic community of the Savannah River below a peaking hydropower station

January 1, 1986

The Savannah River below Hartwell Dam, on the South Carolina-Georgia border, contains at least 206 benthic invertebrate taxa, even though this tailwater undergoes substantial daily fluctuations in water flow, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. Oligochaetes, chironomids, and amphipods dominate the community immediately below the dam. Farther downstream, larger organisms (i.e., Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, etc.) dominate the benthic community. The high diversity of this system is primarily attributed to the intensive effort we expended to identify invertebrates to species level. We conclude that tailwaters associated with peaking hydropower stations may in fact have the diverse community assemblages found in natural streams and that this has not been recognized by other investigators because the bulk of the fauna is made up of small forms that are easily overlooked. Comparisons of tailwater fauna communities with those in control areas should be limited to rivers of similar size.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1986
Title Benthic community of the Savannah River below a peaking hydropower station
DOI
Authors Patrick L. Hudson, S. Jerrine Nichols
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society
Series Number
Index ID 1000554
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center