Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Daniel McGarvey


The biomass size spectrum - the power-law scaling relationship between average individual size and total biomass - has often been studied in lake and marine ecosystems, but rarely in lotic systems. The objective of this study was to test for characteristic biomass spectra in small temperate streams. Seasonal fish and macroinvertebrate data, including population abundance and biomass estimates, were collected in three wadeable, southern West Virginia streams from October 2013 to May 2015. Fish abundances were estimated with 3-pass electrofishing (depletion) surveys and individuals were weighed in the field. Macroinvertebrates were collected with a Hess sampler and returned to the lab for identification to the lowest practical level (usually genus). Published length-mass regressions were then used to estimate individual mass. All size spectra relationships (linear regression of log-log data) were highly significant (p<0.001). Size spectra intercepts were variable and may reflect seasonal differences in fish and invertebrate densities. Size spectra slopes were more consistent, with a mean slope of approximately -0.73, suggesting a common scaling relationship between stream consumers at differing trophic levels.


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