Environmental heterogeneity at different scales: key factors affecting caddisfly larvae assemblages in standing waters within a lowland river catchment
We examined the importance of environmental parameters at different spatial scales influencing the occurrence of caddisfly larvae at different levels of their organization (species, faunistic metrics and functional groups) in lentic floodplain waters, in order to gain information on the ecological status and management of a small lowland river catchment.
At the lowest spatial level – pH, sediment grain size, insolation and the presence of aquatic macrophytes proved significant for caddisfly larvae, at higher and the highest level (including buffer zones and the catchment) – the surface areas of watercourses and the river, distance from standing waters and distance from broadleaf forests, respectively. Rheophilous hydropsychids accounted for 17% of the whole fauna of the examined water bodies. They spread from the river via water during flood in the spring. We also detected some significant correlations between functional groups of caddisfly larvae and parameters describing buffer zones and the river catchment against the sub-catchment type use. Information provided by the Caddisfly Habitat Index showed an overall good ecological status of the river-floodplain. Caddisfly larvae may be good indicators of numerous factors and processes, but they should be studied comprehensively, at different levels of organization. Our results can be useful for preservation of biodiversity and management of river valleys. We suggest: 1) maintaining the varied structure of aquatic macrophytes in water bodies, 2) securing the long-term presence of broadleaf trees in buffer zones in order to provide detritus input, varied insolation and shelter for caddisflies, 3) limiting drainage activities in the river valley in order to save varied habitats, especially temporary ones, 4) providing heterogeneous landscape in the river catchment (homogenous land use is inappropriate).
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Copyright (c) 2016 Edyta Buczyńska, Stanisław Czachorowski, Paweł Buczyński, Joanna Pakulnicka, Edyta Stępień, Agnieszka Szlauer-Łukaszewska, Robert Stryjecki, Andrzej Zawal
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