Effects of low-head dam removal on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in a Korean stream

Hye Kyung Kil, Yeon Jae Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to examine how a low-head dam removal (partial removal) could affect benthic macroinvertebrate communities in a stream. Benthic macroinvertebrates and substrates were seasonally sampled before and after dam removal (March 2006-April 2007). Benthic macroinvertebrates and substrates were quantitatively sampled from immediately upstream (upper: pool) and downstream (lower: riffle) sites, the location of the dam itself (middle), and immediately above the impoundment (control: riffle). After the removal, species richness and density of benthic macroinvertebrates as well as the EPT group (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera) increased to higher levels than those before the removal, while functional feeding groups and habitat orientation groups changed more heterogeneously at the upper site. At the lower site, species richness and density decreased somewhat immediately after dam removal, which was associated with an increase of silt and sand, but recovered after monsoon floods which helped to enhance substrate diversity at the upper site. Decreased dominance index and increased diversity index in both the upper and lower sites are evidence of positive effects from the dam removal. In conclusion, we suggest that even a partial removal of a dam, resulting in increased substrate diversity in the upper site, could sufficiently help rehabilitate lost ecological integrity of streams without major habitat changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Cells and Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb


  • benthic macroinvetebrates
  • community composition
  • dam removal
  • flood
  • functional groups
  • stream restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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