Independent effects of habitat and stream typology on macroinvertebrate communities in Mediterranean-type intermittent streams
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Independent effects of habitat and stream typology on macroinvertebrate communities in Mediterranean-type intermittent streams Macroinvertebrate-based water quality assessment in temporary streams is an important yet still understudied issue. Investigating different aspects of macroinvertebrate distribution in these streams is therefore highly necessary for the successful implementation of bio-assessment programs. We investigated the variability in macroinvertebrate communities (number of families, abundance, taxonomic richness) and water quality index among six different habitat types (boulder, cobble, gravel, sand, macrophytes, particulate organic matter) and four stream typologies (medium-large southern rivers; southern mountainous rivers; small southern rivers; calcareous rivers). Samples were collected at 32 intermittent and 4 permanent sites in Mediterranean-type streams. The structure of benthic communities showed differences among both habitats and typologies, but there was no interaction among these two factors, indicating that the effect of stream typology does not depend on the habitats that are present in the given stream type. Overall community structure was similar among mineral substrates and macrophytes, which was also reflected in low number of taxa with significant indicator values suggesting the prevalence of generalist tactic and low selectivity in terms of habitat partitioning at these temporary streams. Much higher number of indicator taxa was found for different stream typologies providing evidence that stream types are better predictor for taxa occurrences than a habitat unit at this scale. Southern mountainous streams hosted the highest number of families with significant Indicator Values suggesting that this typology is important for many families with less generalistic set of traits. This typology must be carefully addressed in monitoring programs for water quality assessment even at such fine scale. Further, we reported significant effects of Habitat and Typology for water quality index. Differences were particularly between gravel and organic or depositional habitats (macrophytes/sand/particulate organic matter). For the typology differences were observed between calcareous and non-calcareous stream types.
- Marine Science Cluster [63 items ]