Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The Dan river, a principal source of the Jordan River, Israel, is unusually constant in discharge (∼8 m3·s−1) and water temperature (15–16 °C). The Jordan headwaters constitute the southernmost oasis of a palearctic north temperate fauna, and presumably the very constancy of the Dan contributes to its important role as a regional refuge. However, little is known of river ecology from this region. We report a twelve month study of drift, undertaken to assess diel, seasonal, and spatial patterns of the abundance of drifting invertebrates. Diel periodicity in drift was detectable but minimal. Baetidae nymphs showed a pronounced nocturnal increase, gammarid amphipods a modest, twofold increase, while dipteran larvae showed no diel variation. Seasonal variation likewise was minimal and due principally to the Baetidae, while gammarid amphipods showed no significant seasonality. The notably small diel and seasonal variation in aquatic drift in the Dan may be attributable to the extremely constant physical regime. Spatial variation was substantial. Two stations located 30 and 200 m below the karstic exsurgence of the Dan provided drift densities among the lowest reported anywhere, whereas two stations located 1 and 4.5 km downstream had more typical drift densities. A water diversion project completed halfway through the study resulted in a 50% reduction in flow at the most downstream stations, but had no discernible effect on drift.
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