Diversity of invertebrates in wet tropics streams: patterns and processes

Connolly, Niall M., Christidis, Faye, McKie, Brendan, Boyero, Luz, and Pearson, Richard (2008) Diversity of invertebrates in wet tropics streams: patterns and processes. In: Stork, Nigel E., and Turton, Stephen M., (eds.) Living in a Dynamic Tropical Forest Landscape. Blackwell Publishing, Carlton, VIC, Australia, pp. 161-177.

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Abstract

[Extract] As the name infers, the Wet Tropics is a unique region within Australia, characterized by high rainfall. As a consequence, streams and wetlands are prominent and conspicuous features in the landscape. The region is topographically varied, with mountain ranges rising sharply near the coast catching the easterly winds that carry moisture-laden air from the warm waters of the Coral Sea. The headwaters of countless streams rise in these rainforest-clad mountains then rapidly descend to a narrow floodplain. The climate is dominated by seasonal patterns of rainfall, with a summer wet season and winter dry season. Most streams, although seasonal in flow, are perennial and have probably been so for millions of years, in contrast to those in many other parts of Australia, including most of the tropical region. In an Australian context, therefore, Wet Tropics streams are exceptional because they sustain a unique and diverse freshwater fauna, including species-rich invertebrate communities (e.g. Pearson et al. 1986; Walker et al. 1995), distinctive fish fauna with many endemic species (Pusey & Kennard 1996; Pusey et al, Chapter 11, this volume) and a diverse frog fauna (e.g. Williams et al. 1996). Here we describe the diversity and ecology of the stream invertebrate fauna of the Wet Tropics in relation to the region's biogeographical history and present-day environment.

Item ID: 7408
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-5643-1
Keywords: tropical biology; community ecology; biodiversity
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Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2010 23:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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