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Effects of a Kentucky flood-control reservoir on macroinvertebrates in the tailwater

January 1, 1985

The effects of a flood-control reservoir on downstream macroinvertebrates were assessed by comparing the tailwater community with that of a natural stream. Samples were collected 1.6 and 21.1 km below Barren River Lake dam in 1979, 1980, and 1981 and in a reservoir tributary in 1980 and 1981. An indication of environmental stress in the macroinvertebrate community was observed at both tailwater stations, whereas macroinvertebrates in the natural tributary stream had the characteristics commonly associated with a ‘healthy’ community. Densities of macroinvertebrates in tailwaters were highest during periods of low-stable flows and lowest during fluctuating and high-stable flows. Changes in temperature cycles and water quality were also considered factors in reducing macroinvertebrate abundance in the tailwater. Dominant macroinvertebrate taxa in tailwaters were primarily small organisms with a high tolerance for dynamic living conditions. Of these, aquatic Diptera, Oligochaeta, Caenis, Cheumatopsyche, and Planariidae were most common. The effects of reservoir discharge were most evident near the dam, where macroinvertebrate densities were relatively high and taxonomic diversity was low. Downstream, the impact of the reservoir was moderated, but recovery was judged incomplete.

Publication Year 1985
Title Effects of a Kentucky flood-control reservoir on macroinvertebrates in the tailwater
DOI 10.1007/BF00008681
Authors J.F. Novotny
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Hydrobiologia
Index ID 70162150
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center