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Life of a River - Biology
River Continuum Concept: Headwaters (pg 3 of 7)

Fish communities in these small streams are usually limited to only a few species, including various minnows, darters, sculpins, and in cold spring-fed streams, trout. In these small environments, fish remain small and feed primarily on insects and other small invertebrates.

Some of these fish serve as hosts to the larvae of headwater mussel species, such as the cylindrical papershell and creeper mussels. Adult mussels filter their food from the water column, like the group of collecting insects. Mussels themselves serve as substrates for other organisms, such as algae, snails, and aquatic insects. Fish may be attracted to mussel colonies. Grazing insects that feed on algae attached to mussel shells are another food source for the fish community. The empty mussel shells serve as shelter for crayfish, darters, and tadpole madtoms.


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Introduction
Flow
Shape
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Quality
Life
Description
Terrestrial plants
Terrestrial animals
Life cycles
Corridors
Refuges
Aquatic habitats
Adaptations
Continuum concept
Relationships
Consequences
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Summary
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