Life history and distribution of mayflies ...

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Title Life history and distribution of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) in some acid streams in south central Ontario, Canada
Author(s) Donna J. Giberson, R. J. Mackay
Journal Canadian Journal of Zoology-Revue Canadienne de Zoologie
Date 1991
Volume 69
Issue 4
Start page 899
End page 910
Abstract Life histories and distribution of mayflies (Insecta:Ephemeroptera) were investigated in 11 streams in south central Ontario that ranged from highly acidic to circumneutral. At least 29 mayfly species were recorded from the streams, with 16 common enough for life history analysis. Mayfly distribution and diversity were correlated with pH regime and stream size. No mayflies were found in the smallest, most acid stream, and numbers of mayfly species and their relative abundances generally increased with both increasing stream size and stream pH. Incorporation of life cycle information with distributional data enabled us to determine the precise stream-water pH range encountered by different mayfly life stages in the study streams. Generally, during the period of greatest acid stress in the streams (pH depressions associated with spring snowmelt) the mayflies were present in large or dormant stages, which are believed to be more tolerant of lowered pH.

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