Riparian forestry management and adult stream insects
Abstract. The impacts of coniferous plantation forestry on the biology of upland streams in the UK are firmly established. Whilst benthic communities have been well studied, very little research has considered the impacts of riparian forestry management on adult stream insects, yet the essentially terrestrial adult (reproductive) phase may be important in determining the abundance and distribution of larval stages. Riparian vegetation has a potentially strong impact on survival and success of adult stages through alteration of microclimate, habitat structure and potential food sources, in addition to effects carried over from larval stages. Here, current riparian management strategies are analysed in the light of available information on the ecology of adult stream insects. On the whole, management practices appear to favour adult stream insects, although an increase in tree cover in riparian areas could be beneficial, by providing more favourable microclimatic conditions for adults. This conclusion is drawn based on rather limited information, and the need for further research into the effects of riparian forestry management on adult stream insects is highlighted.
Keywords: microclimate, plantation, life history, riparian vegetation