Reach-scale temporal shifts in the distribution of larvae of a grazing caddisfly, Micrasema quadriloba (Brachycentridae), were investigated in a Japanese mountain stream. The larvae showed an aggregated distribution within the reach at the beginning of the immigration, then became randomly dispersed throughout the reach as the immigration progressed. The abundance of periphyton in the reach decreased dramatically with increasing dispersal of the larvae. Simple regression analyses revealed that the stream's flow regime was the most important environmental factor that determined the reach-scale distribution of the larvae and that the relationship between the flow regime and the distribution of the larvae shifted temporally. In addition, our results suggest that only this species of grazing insect, which was dominant in the study reach, controlled the reach-scale abundance of the periphyton.
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