TitleReconstructing long-term flood regimes with rainfall data: Effects of flood timing on caddisfly populations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsLytle, DA
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Flash floods area defining feature of desert streams, but flow records are not always available to characterize long-term flood dynamics. In this study, rainfall data spanning 100 years were used as a proxy to quantify long-term flood regimes for southeastern Arizona (USA) streams. The frequency and seasonal timing of severe floods (>50% substrate movement) were highly variable at short temporal scales (days to several years), but clear patterns emerged in the long-term (several years to a century). To explore the ecological effects of flood timing, populations of the caddisfly Phylloicus aeneus (Calamoceratidae) were monitored in 2 streams over 3 years. The timing of individual floods relative to the long-term average strongly affected P. aeneus populations: early and timely floods had little effect on population size in the next year, but late floods significantly reduced population size in the next year. Thus, flood timing might play a role in regulating populations of desert stream organisms.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000182043500004