Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

The effect of Agriculture on Cave Stream Invertebrate Communities

Pierce McNie , Russell Death


The impacts that land use changes have on cave stream faunas have not been considered widely in the investigations of land use impacts on stream ecology. This study examines how above ground agriculture may influence cave stream invertebrate communities. The invertebrate communities in four cave streams and their surface counterparts were sampled in 2014/2015; two drained predominantly agricultural catchments and two drained forested catchments. These communities were examined alongside habitat and GIS land use data to determine the relationship between above ground land use and the stream communities. Invertebrate community composition and ecological health for surface streams was different between the agricultural and forest catchments. These differences were less pronounced within the cave stream communities. Sedimentation was the principal agricultural stressor in the cave streams. The overall effects of agriculture were lower within the cave streams compared to the surface; this is likely due to the reduced number of potentially deleterious stressors on cave streams.

MF16112  Accepted 20 January 2017

© CSIRO 2017