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Video Spotlights Caddisflies as Ecosystem Engineers

1024 575 Stroud Water Research Center

Research by Lindsey Albertson, Ph.D., a former Stroud Center postdoctoral researcher now at Montana State University, and Melinda Daniels, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Stroud Center’s Fluvial Geomorphology group, is revealing how small aquatic insects can influence important characteristics of streams and rivers.

Hydropsychid caddisflies (Trichoptera) are a group of globally distributed aquatic insects that spin silk mesh nets that they use to filter feed. These silk mesh nets are important ecosystem engineering structures in flowing waters that can regulate sediment erosion, food particle delivery by altering near-bed current velocities, and enhance habitat availability for other macroinvertebrates.

A short film has been produced to take a closer look at caddisflies and their ecosystem engineering.

The caddisfly study was funded by a National Science Foundation grant, NSF DEB #1557032. Principal investigators: Lindsey Albertson, Ph.D. (Montana State University) and Melinda Daniels (Stroud Water Research Center).

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