Benthic macroinvertebrate response to habitat restoration in a constructed Arctic stream

  • Published source details Scrimgeour G., Jones N. & Tonn W.M. (2013) Benthic macroinvertebrate response to habitat restoration in a constructed Arctic stream. River Research and Applications, 29, 352-365.


Action: Build structures in river to modify habitat conditions

A replicated, site comparison study in 1998–2000 involving six Arctic streams in the Northwest Territories, Canada (Scrimgeour et al. 2013) found that adding rocky structures to create faster-flowing riffles had no significant effect on the abundance of algae, bryophytes and other macrophytes. After two years, areas near structures supported a statistically similar amount of vegetation to areas without structures, and significantly less vegetation than nearby natural streams. This was true for the biomass of algae growing on rocks (structures: <1; no structures: <1; natural: 14 mg/cm2 ash free dry mass), cover of bryophytes (structures: 0%; no structures: 0%; natural: 2%) and cover of other macrophytes (structures: <1%; no structures: <5%; natural: 25%). Note that Figure 3 in the original paper appears to be mislabelled, given bryophyte and macrophyte cover reported in Jones et al. 2008 and Scrimgeour et al. 2014. Methods: In late 1998, nine engineered rock structures (vanes, weirs, ramps and a groyne) were built to create riffles and pools in an otherwise uniformly deep and slow-flowing created stream. Vegetation was surveyed in July 2000: near the nine structures, in nine reaches of the same stream without structures, and in rocky riffles in five nearby natural streams. Cover of bryophytes and other macrophytes was visually estimated in nine to twenty-five 0.1-m2 quadrats/site. Algae were scraped from 20–50 cm2 of rock surface/site.

Additional References:

Jones N.E., Scrimgeour G.J. & Tonn W.M. (2008) Assessing the effectiveness of a constructed Arctic stream using multiple biological attributes. Environmental Management, 42, 1064–1076.

Scrimgeour G.J., Tonn W.M. & Jones N.E. (2014) Quantifying effective restoration: reassessing the productive capacity of a constructed stream 14 years after construction. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 71, 589–601.

Output references
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