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Aquatic invertebrates of calcareous wetlands in post - mining landscape: a comparison with natural calcareous fens

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Year of publication 2016
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Although many studies have dealt with vegetation and terrestrial fauna of post-industrial biotopes, comprehensive hydrobiological research on post-industrial wetlands is still rather rare. Due to specific bedrock chemistry of the Sokolov Coal Basin in the north-western Czech Republic, wetlands with calcium carbonate (tufa) precipitation, high conductivity and sulphate concentrations occur in this area. Within post-industrial wetlands, this combination of abiotic conditions is completely unique. Macroinvertebrate assemblages of nine wetlands in two spoil banks were studied in spring and autumn in 2014. In total, 159 taxa (mostly identified at the species level) of Mollusca, Clitellata, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Odonata, Heteroptera, Trichoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera were found. Diptera with 85 taxa was the most diverse group comprising many rare and protected taxa closely associated with specific conditions of the post-industrial calcareous wetlands. . Moreover, Diptera assemblages included a high number of spring fen specialists – e.g. Oxycera pygmaea (fam. Stratiomyidae), Metriocnemus eurynotus Gr. (fam. Chironomidae) and Tonnoiriella pulchra (fam. Psychodidae). Despite extreme chemical conditions, calcareous wetlands in post-mining landscape provide important refuges for a high number of aquatic invertebrates, including rare and specialized taxa. Calcareous wetlands of the Sokolov spoil banks can be thus considered as unique biotopes with similar taxa richness as highly threatened and quickly disappearing spring fens.
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