TROPHIC RELATIONS OF AQUATIC INSECTS
KENNETH W. CUMMINS
One of the most ubiquitous features of freshwater habitats is their present rate of change in response to man-engendered perturbations. Any rehabilitative or management strategy characterized by a high probability for success must rely on fundamental knowledge of the intricacies of freshwater ecosystem
structure and function. A basic facet of this structure and function is material cycling and energy flow. In turn, a significant portion of such cycling and flow involves the processing of various forms of organic matter by
freshwater invertebrate animals, especially insects. This constitutes a basis for interest in aquatic insect trophic relations-food intake, tissue assimilation, and waste release-with implications ranging from theoretical questions, such as the efficiency of energy transfer, to very specific practical problems: for example, population control of "pest" species represented either by the food or the feeder. As Bates (2) put it, trophic relationships constitute the "cement" holding biological communities together.
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