Although the aquatic insect fauna of Utah and their associated adult forms are well documented taxonomically and biogeographically, little is known about seasonal and elevational patterns of aquatic insect diversity in individual Wasatch streams. We selected the American Fork River, a relatively pristine stream with little anthropogenic disturbance, as our target stream to investigate elevational distribution and seasonal phenology of adult forms of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT). From April to October in 2003 through 2005, a total of 71 adult forms of EPT species were documented along the American Fork River. No single sampling period captured more than 30 species, and richness per sampling period averaged 8 species for all sites combined. The mid-elevational site (1862 msl) was the most species rich, with 54 species of transitional fauna captured along the elevational gradient. As such, this site is an important reference for maximum potential richness. Plecoptera emerged earlier in the year than Trichoptera, with the Plecoptera-dominated community being most rich in June, and the Trichoptera-dominated community being most rich in August. We observed 3 distinct seasonal species suites and 3 elevationally zoned community assemblages that were recurrent in their timing and location from year to year. The compiled species lists, life histories, and preliminary investigation of ecological trends provide a firm basis for further systematic studies on the ecology, water quality, and conservation of the aquatic insects of the American Fork River and similar mountain streams, particularly in the Wasatch region.
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Vol. 70 • No. 4