The River Continuum Concept is a model that provides a framework for predicting many characteristics of a river or stream based off of its order. We examined three streams, the Mississippi River headwaters, a creek emerging from Mark Lake, and a iron spring that flows into Elk Lake, all with varying characteristics, but all headwaters of a streams found within Itasca State Park, MN. Physical properties of each stream were measured along with an assessment of the stream’s species richness found by looking at the richness of the biotic guilds of anuran, terrestrial invertebrates, benthic invertebrates, aquatic vegetation, emergent vegetation, and riparian vegetation. We found the Mississippi headwaters to have the highest species richness in all guilds but riparian vegetation, leading us to believe it to be a middle-order stream based of the characteristics described in the River Continuum Concept.
Rittenhouse, David; Gasteiger, Autumn; Greenfield, Morgan; Thomes, Reggie.
Biotic Guild Diversity with Varying Stream Parameters.
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