Pre-Recorded Oral Presentation as part of National Virtual Conference AFSS Conference 2020

The terrestrial and semi-aquatic invertebrates of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (#101)

Alisha L Steward 1 2 , Thibault Datry 3 , Simone D Langhans 4 5
  1. Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  3. INRAE, UR RIVERLY, centre de Lyon-Villeurbanne, 5 rue de la Doua CS70077, 69626 Villeurbanne cedex, France
  4. Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), 48940 Leioa, Spain
  5. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, 340 Great King Street, 9016 Dunedin, New Zealand

Intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES), which cease to flow and/or dry at some point, are the most abundant waterways on earth, and are found on every continent. They can support a diverse, and often abundant, terrestrial and semi-aquatic invertebrate (TSAI) fauna, which has been poorly explored as being at the fringe between aquatic and terrestrial disciplines. TSAIs can inhabit a variety of habitat types, including the shoreline, the surface of exposed gravel bars, unsaturated gravels, dry riverbeds, riparian zones, and floodplains. Much less is known about the species composition and ecological roles of TSAIs of IRES than their aquatic counterparts, with TSAIs being largely overlooked in conceptual models, legislation, policy, and ecological monitoring. In this paper we review the TSAI literature that has increased substantially in the past decade and present conceptual models describing how TSAIs respond to hydrological changes in IRES. Then, we test these models with data collected during wet and dry phases in IRES from Australia and France. These generic models can be utilised by water managers and policy makers, ensuring that both wet and dry phases are considered in the management and protection of IRES. IRES should be viewed as a habitat continuum through time, with taxa from a pool of aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates inhabiting at any hydrological stage. We call for collaboration among terrestrial, lentic and lotic ecologists to further explore these invertebrates and ecosystems.