Flow velocity tolerance of lowland stream caddisfly larvae (Trichoptera)

J.H.F. de Brouwer*, A.A. Besse-Lototskaya, C.J.F. Ter Braak, M.H.S. Kraak, P.F.M. Verdonschot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The process of macroinvertebrate drift in streams is characterized by dislodgement, drift distance and subsequent return to the bottom. While dislodgement is well studied, the fate of drifting organisms is poorly understood, especially concerning Trichoptera. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the ability of six case-building Trichoptera species to return to the stream bottom under different flow velocity conditions in a laboratory flume. The selected species occur in North-West European sandy lowland streams along a gradient from lentic to lotic environments. We determined species specific probability curves for both living and dead (control) specimens to return to the bottom from drift at different flow velocities and established species specific return rates. Species on the lotic end of the gradient had highest return rates at high flow velocity and used active behaviour most efficiently to return to the bottom from drift. The observed gradient of flow velocity tolerance and species specific abilities to settle from drift indicate that, in addition to dislodgement, the process of returning to the bottom is of equal importance in determining flow velocity tolerance of Trichoptera species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-425
JournalAquatic Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Drift
  • Flow velocity
  • Lowland streams
  • Return rates
  • Trichoptera


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