Arthur C. Benke

Professor Emeritus

Phone: (205) 348-1799


Arthur Benke received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1972.  He was a faculty member in the School of Biology at Georgia Institute of Technology from 1971 to 1984.  He joined the University of Alabama faculty as Full Professor in 1984.  He retired in 2012, but remains active as Professor Emeritus.

Research Interests

Although I am retired, most of my research interests continue to be focused the ecology of freshwater invertebrates, particularly insects, and their role in aquatic ecosystems.  I have worked in streams, Coastal Plain rivers, and wetlands, mostly in systems prevalent throughout the southeastern U.S.  Much of my work has emphasized the theory and practice of estimating invertebrate production, but I also have related interests in population dynamics, drift dynamics, predator-prey relationships, and effects of urbanization on streams.  In more recent years I have been particularly interested in the application of secondary production in the quantification of flow food webs using secondary production as the starting point.  I am currently working with colleagues and former students in analyzing data and preparation of manuscripts.  Finally, my 25-year passion for conservation of rivers, particularly concerning the devastating impacts of dams on these rivers, continues today.

Selected Publications

Benke, A. C., and A. D. Huryn. 2017 (in press). Secondary production and quantification of food webs.  To be in Methods in stream ecology, 3rd edition (edited by F. R. Hauer and G. A. Lamberti), Academic Press/Elsevier.

Benke, A. C., and J. B. Wallace. 2015. High secondary production in a Coastal Plain river is dominated by snag invertebrates and fuelled mainly by amorphous detritus. Freshwater Biology 60:236-255.

Benke, A. C. 2015. Streams and Rivers of North America: Overview, Eastern and Central Basins. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier. (Revision of 2009 chapter in G. E. Likens (Editor) Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, Volume 3, Elsevier).

Reynolds, S.K., Jr, and A.C. Benke. 2012. Chironomid production along a hyporheic gradient in contrasting stream types. Freshwater Science 31:167-181.

Benke, A.C. 2011. Secondary production, quantitative food webs, and trophic position.  Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):26.

Benke, A.  C., and M. Whiles.  2011.  Life table vs. secondary production analysis – relationships and usage in ecology.  Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:1024-1032.

Benke, A.C., and C.E. Cushing (editors).  2010.  Field Guide to Rivers of North America.  Academic Press/Elsevier, Burlington, Massachusetts.  xii + 459 pages.

Benke, A.C. and A.D. Huryn.  2010.  Benthic invertebrate production–facilitating answers to ecological riddles in freshwater ecosystems. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 264-285.

Lemke, A. M., and A. C. Benke. 2009. Spatial and temporal patterns of microcrustacean assemblage structure and secondary production in a wetland ecosystem. Freshwater Biology 54:1409-1426.

Chadwick, M. A., D. R. Dobberfuhl, A. C. Benke, A. D. Huryn, K. Suberkropp, and J. E. Thiele.  2006. Urbanization affects stream ecosystem function by altering hydrology, chemistry, and biotic richness. Ecological Applications 16:1796-1807.

Benke, A. C., and C. E. Cushing.  2005. Rivers of North America. Academic Press/Elsevier, Burlington, Massachusetts. xxiii + 1144 pages.

Benke, A. C.,  J. B. Wallace, J. W. Harrison, and J. W. Koebel.  2001. Food web quantification using secondary production analysis: predaceous invertebrates of the snag habitat in a subtropical river. Freshwater Biology 46:329-346.

Benke, A. C., I. Chaubey, G. M. Ward, and E. L. Dunn. 2000. Flood pulse dynamics of an unregulated river floodplain in the southeastern US coastal plain. Ecology 81:2730-2741.

Benke, A. C., A. D. Huryn, L. A. Smock, and J. B. Wallace 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the southeastern United States. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18:308-343.

Benke, A. C. and J. B. Wallace. 1997. Trophic basis of production among riverine caddisflies: implications for food web analysis. Ecology 78:1132-1145.