Recovery of aquatic insect communities after a catastrophic flood in a Korean stream

Hwang Goo Lee, Yeon Jae Bae

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7 Citations (Scopus)


In August 2002, a heavy rainfall (445 mm in total for 5 consecutive days) resulted in a catastrophic flood, and it completely washed away the benthic fauna from the mainstream channel of the Gapyeong stream, a typical mid-sized stream in the central Korean peninsula. This study was to investigate the recovery patterns of aquatic insect communities that were damaged by the flood. Aquatic insects were sampled quantitatively using a Surber sampler (50 × 50 cm, 1 riffle and 1 pool/run habitats per site) from three sites (4th-6th order) of the Gapyeong stream prior to 2000 and seasonally after the flood event from 2003 to 2006. Before the flood in the reference year (2000), a total of 77 species of aquatic insects were collected, whereas after the flood 47 species (2003), 51 species (2004), 64 species (2005) and 55 species (2006) were collected from the whole sampling sites. The aquatic insect density decreased to 26.85% (2003), 90.25% (2004), 52.53% (2005) and 54.95% (2006) of that recorded in the reference year. Although approximately 70% of the aquatic insect fauna has recovered since the flood event, the species composition in the most recent year differed substantially (similarity ca. 50%). On the other hand, the compositions of functional groups have not significantly changed. Aquatic insect communities at the riffle sites were affected more profoundly than those at the pool/run sites. The aquatic insect communities at the upstream site recovered more rapidly than those at the downstream sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Cells and Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the grant No. R01-2007-000-20442-0 from the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation.


  • Benthic macroinvertebrates
  • Community recovery
  • Disturbance ecology
  • Flood impact
  • Gapyeong stream
  • Monsoon climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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