Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Zoology

First Advisor

Whiles, Matthew

Abstract

Reciprocal subsidies such as aquatic insect emergences can be significant in quantity and quality. This movement of energy and nutrients from aquatic to terrestrial habitats provides many species of riparian generalist predators, such as spiders, with nutrition from aquatic based prey in the form of adult aquatic insects. Alterations to this aquatic to terrestrial subsidy will thus affect riparian predators. This is an important, yet often overlooked, consideration when planning both in-stream alterations and river restoration projects. The Post Creek Cutoff dividing the Cache River in Southern Illinois into two distinct river segments: the Upper Cache River (UCR) and Lower Cache River (LCR) is an example of a major stream alteration that could influence subsidy exchanges. The effects of the Cutoff are still observed today, with bank erosion, channel incision, and lateral gully formation in the UCR, and decreased flow, sedimentation, and low dissolved oxygen concentrations in the LCR. River alterations like these not only affect in-stream communities such as macroinvertebrates and fish, but adjacent ecosystems and beyond.

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