Athol J. McLachlan

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Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection has at its focal point the mating success of organisms. Among male animals, large body size is widely seen as the principal determinant of mating success. However, where mating takes place in a three-dimensional arena such as water, the arboreal habitat or air, small size with its concomitant aerobatic advantages(More)
Analyses of the gut contents of larvae of three species of Tanypodinae, collected from four sites in north-east England and Scotland, invariably showed small particles (1–10 µm2), predominantly of detritus, to be more abundant than large particles (10–100 µm2), mostly algae and diatoms. No animal remains, such as carapaces, head capsules and chaetae, or(More)
A series of experiments were carried out to determine whether substrate selection could be demonstrated in the case of chironomid larvae of the species Nilodorum brevibucca Freeman in the absence of competition for food. Definite substrate preferences were exhibited. In particular, coarse sand was avoided, and this could be related to the suitability of the(More)
The use of particles for the construction of tubes by a community of stream-dwelling midge (Chironomidae) larvae was investigated. It was shown that the particles present in the larval tubes occurred in the same proportions as those present on the surfaces of stones in the stream. Small particles were principally of detritus, medium-sized particles mainly(More)
Recent high-profile calls for a more trait-focused approach to community ecology have the potential to open up novel research areas, generate new insights and to transform community ecology into a more predictive science. However, a renewed emphasis on function and phenotype also requires a fundamental shift in approach and research philosophy within(More)
Larvae of the tube building midge Chironomus transvaalensis Kieffer have been shown to clump at low densities, while at high densities individuals are uniformly distributed. Even when numbers are low, however, individuals are regularly spaced within clumps; as density increases, the clumps coalesce. A maximum value of nearly 5,000 individuals per square(More)
A study of the bottom fauna and sediments of Lake Chilwa, Malawi, was carried out in late 1967 when the lake appeared to be drying out. The mud fauna at low lake level was poor, while skeletal remains suggested a more diverse and richer fauna, including a large mollusc community, when the level was higher earlier in the year. Sediments were characterised by(More)
The density of midge larvae (Chironomidae), which dominate the stone-surface fauna (81.3 ± 4.9% of the community by number) in an upland stream in northeast England is regulated by the amount of particulate material available. The amount of material depends on the deposition of suspended particles and on epilithic algal growth. Spates, characteristic of(More)