Water Resources of Colorado

Characterization and Analysis of Temporal and Spatial Variations in Habitat and Macroinvertebrate Community Structure, Fountain Creek Basin, Colorado Springs and Vicinity, Colorado, 1998-2001

by James F. Bruce

Available from the U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Information Services, Box 25286, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4093, 28 p., 9 figs.

This document also is available in pdf format: Adobe Acrobat icon WRIR 02-4093 (6,039KB)
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The Fountain Creek Basin in and around Colorado Springs, Colorado, is affected by various land- and water-use activities. Biological, hydrological, water-quality, and land-use data were collected at 10 sites in the Fountain Creek Basin from April 1998 through April 2001 to provide a baseline characterization of macroinvertebrate communities and habitat conditions for comparison in subsequent studies; and to assess variation in macroinvertebrate community structure relative to habitat quality. Analysis of variance results indicated that instream and riparian variables were not affected by season, but significant differences were found among sites. Nine metrics were used to describe and evaluate macroinvertebrate community structure. Statistical analysis indicated that for six of the nine metrics, significant variability occurred between spring and fall seasons for 60 percent of the sites. Cluster analysis (unweighted pair group method average) using macroinvertebrate presence-absence data showed a well-defined separation between spring and fall samples. Six of the nine metrics had significant spatial variation. Cluster analysis using Sorenson’s Coefficient of Community values computed from macroinvertebrate density (number of organisms per square meter) data showed that macroinvertebrate community structure was more similar among tributary sites than main-stem sites. Canonical correspondence analysis identified a substrate particle-size gradient from site-specific species-abundance data and environmental correlates that decreased the 10 sites to 5 site clusters and their associated taxa.

Table of Contents



Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Land Use


Methods of Investigation

Riparian and Instream Habitat

Data Collection

Statistical Analysis of Habitat Data


Sample Collection

Sample Processing and Quality Assurance

Description of Metrics

Taxa Richness and Total Abundance

EPT and Chironomidae

Dominant Taxa

Similarity Measures, Cluster Analysis, and Multivariate Analysis

Statistical Analysis of Macroinvertebrate Data

Temporal and Spatial Variation in Habitat and Macroinvertebrates


Seasonal Variations

Spatial and Annual Variations


Comparison of Replicate and Composite Samples

Seasonal Variations

Spatial Variation in Invertebrate Community Structure

Environmental Gradient Analysis by Canonical Correspondence Analysis


Selected References

Appendix A. Habitat Data (available in Excel format)

Tables 12, 13; tables 14, 15, 16

Appendix B. Macroinvertebrate Data (available in Excel format)

Table 17; table 18

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Water Resources of Colorado

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