The macrobenthos of Ledbetter Embayment, Kentucky Lake, were sampled monthly (January 2005 through July 2006) to determine community structure with focus on the physical and chemical factors influencing spatial distribution and density. We collected 38 species, including 27 insects, four mollusks, two crustaceans, and three annelids. Species composition was similar to that observed in other midwestern reservoirs except that some taxa, typically rare in other systems, were very abundant. Mean density was 1158 m−2 and density increased with water depth. Macroinvertebrate distribution was patchy. Profundal collector-gatherers were associated with depositional zones created by flow patterns within the embayment driven by the main stem current. Most littoral species showed associations with allochthonous input or substrate heterogeneity provided by incoming streams. The physical structure of Kentucky Lake embayments and commensurate patterns of organic matter deposition, depth, and substrate composition appear to be the primary factors structuring the macrobenthos.
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Vol. 68 • No. 1