Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M. S.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Anna Sher

Second Advisor

Shannon Murphy

Third Advisor

Scott Nichols

Keywords

Diversity, Ecology, Elevation, Freshwater, Macroinvertebrate

Abstract

Land use activities have caused disturbances that affect the quality of freshwater ecosystems worldwide. How the influences of land use along an environmental gradient and the associated environmental variables that may influence stream diversity and function is unclear. We address these issues by studying biodiversity, abundance, and functional diversity of macroinvertebrates across different land types along a gradient in Colorado, USA. We also address how diversity may change along an elevation gradient by analyzing previously published macroinvertebrate research. We found evidence that land use and disturbance are stronger explanations of changes in macroinvertebrate communities, rather than elevation. Functional trait patterns of macroinvertebrates also differ from biodiversity and community composition measurements. Our research highlights the importance of land use, the influence on environmental variables, and the use of functional traits for characterizing communities.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Brittany Sprout

File size

74 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Ecology, Conservation biology

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