Today’s Photography 101 topic is mystery, and here’s my photo:
I post this photo because I’ve been working on this stream for a while to solve a mystery. The water quality is good here – surprisingly good for an urban stream – and the insects you find here frequently back that up. I’ve found riffle beetles and stoneflies here on occasion, insects that are only found in very clean waters. However, you don’t find them every time. In fact, you usually find almost no insects at all!
For the past three years, I’ve been working with some high school students to study this stream to try to explain the lack of insects. What we’ve found so far suggests that flooding is the primary factor influencing the insect population in this stream. While we still need to collect more data, particularly after a flood event, to be sure that it’s the flow that drives the lack of biodiversity in this stream, but I’m feeling more and more confident that this is the case and that we’re close to finally solving this mystery.
Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth.