Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs


Insects are an important element in the analysis of aquatic ecosystems, (1) because the limited dispersal abilities of many aquatic species means that they must make a living under existing conditions, and (2) because they are often sensitive to slight changes in water and stream quality, thus making excellent indicators of the physical and chemical conditions in a system. Examples of rare, ecologically sensitive species are presented from the Plecoptera, Ephemeroptera, and Trichoptera. Detailed studies of rare aquatic insect species should produce important information on critical habitats that will be useful in the protection of endangered and threatened species in other groups of animals and plants.