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Yellowstone National Park Report

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Collections and measurements were made in September-October 1988 at 18 burn and four unburned reference sites (Table 1) and in March 1989 at 12 of the burn and one of the unburned sites under support from the National Science Foundation and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These are being processed and analyzed as part of the present project. In addition, the original 22 burn and reference streams were examined again during August 1989 for comparison with conditions found just after the fire. With a few minor exceptions (e.g., the recording thermometers at a few sites were broken or missing) all of the information specified in our research proposal for September-October 1988 and August 1989 was obtained. Adverse weather conditions or "bear closures" prevented the assessment of all 22 sites in March but the data from the 12 sites that were sampled for invertebrates, periphyton, and organic matter appear to be sufficient to strongly suggest that changes in food quality due to the fire had an adverse effect on the benthic invertebrate community as we had hypothesized (see below).