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Spatial and temporal variation of stream insect emergence in headwater streams

Headwater stream with emergence traps


April 2013 - May 2014


This study is examining spatial patterns of aquatic insect emergence within headwater streams in Massachusetts. The overall goals of the project are 1) to investigate timing and spatial distribution of aquatic insect emergence, and 2) to further characterize the biodiversity of headwater streams. In spring 2013, adult aquatic insects will be collected from emergent structures, open water, and other substrates within the streams. We will compare 1) emergence density between locations within the stream, and 2) timing of emergence among species. The data will be used to inform the larger River’s Calendar project, a citizen science project led by the UMass Water Resource Research Center in which anglers are gathering data on insect phenology as an indicator of climate change.

Research Products and Activities


  • Cheney, K.N., A.H. Roy, and R.F. Smith. 2014. Spatial and temporal variation in aquatic insect emergence from headwater streams in New England. Annual Meeting of the New England Association of Environmental Biologists, 26-28 March 2014, Burlington, VT.
  • Cheney, K.N., A.H. Roy, and R.F. Smith. 2014. Spatial and temporal variation in Plecoptera and Trichoptera emergence from headwater streams. Jount Aquatic Sciences Meeting, 18-22 May 2014, Portland, OR

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • Allison RoyCo-Principal Investigator
  • Kristin CheneyPrincipal Investigator
  • Robert SmithCo-Principal Investigator
  • Kristin CheneyStudent
  • Autumn GertzStudent
  • Rachel PuringtonStudent

Funding Agencies

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, Natural History Collections
  • University of Massachusetts Commonwealth Honors College


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey