Methods for quantifying aquatic macroinvertebrate diets

Emma J. Rosi-Marshall, Holly A. Wellard Kelly, Robert O. Hall, K. A. Vallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aquatic macroinvertebrates are central to lentic and lotic food webs, and characterizing the items they consume is often useful for studies of trophic ecology and food webs. Macroinvertebrate gut contents have been examined frequently by aquatic ecologists, but to our knowledge, no protocol describing how to conduct quantitative gut-content analysis is available. To fill this gap, we provide detailed methods for collecting, preserving, dissecting, identifying, and analyzing gut-content data. We also present a bootstrapping method to compute the number of particles needed to characterize a gut-content sample sufficiently. We anticipate that our description will help guide others in future studies of macroinvertebrate gut contents, trophic status, and foodweb ecology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalFreshwater Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Diet
  • Gut contents
  • Macroinvertebrates


Dive into the research topics of 'Methods for quantifying aquatic macroinvertebrate diets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this