Disturbance effect of largemouth bass nesting on freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates.
Largemouth bass nesting disturbance significantly affected the distribution and abundance of macroinvertebrates in the littoral zone of Lake Wedington, AR, spring 1994. The total average densities and richness of benthic invertebrates were significantly greater outside the nests as compared to the inside throughout the reproductive period. Chironomidae, Oligochaeta, and Ephemeroptera dominated in samples and densities of these invertebrates were consistently greater outside nests throughout this period. However, these alterations were transient and the recovery from the disturbance was observed within ten days following the completion of largemouth bass nesting. The observed fast recovery from bass nesting disturbance contrasts slow recovery from the disturbance created by sunfish (genus Lepomis) colonial breeding. The frequency and predictability of nesting disturbance as well as the timing of the disturbance and nature of disturbed substrate seem to be the factors affecting the persistence of the disturbance effects.