What is a disturbance response?
Responses to disturbance are key systems that are directly impacted by punctuated disturbance events. These systems show clear responses to disturbance that can be quantified through survey metrics. Studying response dynamics can help to understand the interactions and impacts of changing disturbance regimes.
The specific composition of macroinvertebrate communities is considered an established indicator of stream and freshwater health. Abundance and diversity of sensitive macroinvertebrate species shift quickly in response to disturbances in their ecosystem. Specifically, abiotic damage due to gouged stream beds from flood events create cause acute responses in these communities. Regular monitoring of macroinvertebrate indicators over time may provide insight into the impact of disturbance regime fluctuations on aquatic systems.
New England Monitoring Efforts