USGS:  Science for a changing world


By Steven A. Frenzel
ABSTRACT: Ninety-three stream-monitoring sites in the Platte River basin in central Nebraska were classified based on cluster analysis of macroinvertebrate community composition. A divisive clustering technique was used to determine whether four environmental settings were characterized by distinct macroinvertebrate communities. Groups created by the classification did not correspond well to the environmental settings. Streams entirely within, or originating from, the Sandhills environmental setting appears to have distinctly different macroinvertebrate community composition than do other streams in central Nebraska. At a subset of 57 sites, species-environment relationships were examined using canonical correspondence analysis to determine the response of communities to 18 environmental variables. Stream width and soil permeability were most important in describing variance in species-environment relationships. Stream width may be indicative of the degree to which riparian vegetation influences macroinvertebrate community structure. Soil permeability readily differentiated Sandhills stream communities from all others in the study unit and may have reflected differences in streamflow variability and predictability. Because of the high level of homogeneity, streambed variables were relatively unimportant in explaining variability in macroinvertebrate communities. Land use categories of cropland/pasture, and rangeland were highly correlated with other variables such as soil permeability and precipitation and therefore explained little additional variability in species-environment relationships.

Frenzel, S.A., 1994, Application of multivariate techniques to environmental and macroinvertebrate data from streams in central Nebraska [abs]: Bulletin of the North American Benthological Society, v. 11, no. 1, p. 104.

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