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Biodiversity research in lotic systems: changes in the past three decades

Published On: 4/8/2015

Literature review identifies trends and gaps in stream diversity studies

A new study from the Brown Lab at Virginia Tech reviews research trends since the publication of the River Continuum Concept. The study’s lead author, PhD student Brett Tornwall, said that, “We wanted to know which factors and questions were most commonly used to investigate drivers of stream biodiversity as well as how the popularity of these factors and questions has fluctuated through time since the publication of the River Continuum Concept.” They conducted a comprehensive review of publications and found that most studies focused on macroinvertebrates or fish, and few studies investigated microbial diversity in streams. They also examined the types of predictor variables used in the studies, the scale at which studies were conducted, and the type of diversity measured in lotic systems. The authors identify several research areas that were under-represented in their literature review.

Read the original paper in Diversity:

Tornwall, Brett, Eric Sokol, James Skelton, and Bryan L. Brown. 2015. “Trends in Stream Biodiversity Research since the River Continuum Concept.” Diversity 7 (1): 16–35. doi:10.3390/d7010016.

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