Renata Blank

Department of Forest Sciences
3041-2424 Main Mall, UBC
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4

Position: M.Sc.

Study Area: Community Ecology

Project: Linking terrestrial and stream ecosystems: influence of riparian vegetation composition on stream macroinvertebrates

shreddersLand and water systems are uniquely linked by the flow of materials between the two elements. The current theory is that terrestrial vegetation productivity and diversity influences instream processes. This project explores this relationship in terms of inputs of different energy sources on stream invertebrate communities. The main component of the project is to examine the effects of different types of leaf litter inputs on the colonization of stream channels by invertebrates.

This information is directly relevant to stream restoration projects. Restoration ecology proceeds on the premise that a variety of tree species that produce various types of detritus are better sources of stream energy inputs than single species dominated sites. There is little data to back up this premise. This study attempts to determine the efficacy of this treatment. This project examines different species of riparian vegetation litter stream inputs for a range of aquatic invertebrates inhabiting Coastal Western Hemlock forest streams.

The project involves observational studies and experimental manipulations of stream systems. Pictures are provided of possible riparian species that will be used in the stream manipulations. In order to test this theory, artificial stream channels are used so as to minimize natural variation between treatments and maintain a community of benthic invertebrates that mimics the adjacent source stream.

pacific dogwood(Cornus nuttallii) black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera) red alder (Alnus rubra)
salmon berry (Rubus spectabilis) Western redcedar(Thuja pilcata) Western hemlock(Tsuga heterophylla)