Publication details

Species richness and composition of macroinvertebrate assemblages in the Bavarian Forest National Park: Preliminary results of the stream monitoring

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Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Silva Gabreta
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords biodiversity; macroinvertebrates; acidification; acid status assessment; Bohemian Forest
Description Ongoing monitoring of streams in the Bavarian Forest National Park (BFNP) is focused on the effects of climate changes and natural disturbances on the community composition and diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates in the Bohemian Forest. This study provides the data on macroinvertebrate assemblages of ten streams draining the area of the BFNP (BF streams), which are included in the monitoring survey, and 48 sites distributed evenly in the Große Ohe stream network (GO catchment). The GO catchment serves as a model stream network to study environmental and spatial structuring of macroinvertebrate assemblages on the local scale. We aim to evaluate species richness, abundance and species composition of macroinvertebrates along the main environmental gradients and to consider the possible impact of acidification. Species recorded at all studied sites are compared with available literature data from the BFNP. Altogether 40,682 individuals of 184 species were recorded in our study, 130 and 168 species in the BF streams and GO catchment, respectively. Macroinvertebrate assemblages of the BF streams are significantly influenced by substrate roughness and water quality. Within the GO catchment, stream size and acidity are the main ecological gradients forming the assemblages, with a significant influence of local habitat properties (such as amount of CPOM, concentration of Ali, depth of water, and water chemistry). More species of Ephemeroptera, Coleoptera and Diptera, including several acid sensitive species, were found in the GO catchment in comparison with earlier data from the period of strong acidification, which indicates ongoing recovery of streams from acidification. Streams are recently inhabited by numerous moderately acid sensitive species, which is mirrored by their favourable acid status (prevailing acid class 2, predominantly neutral to episodically weakly acidic conditions) assessed based on scoring of acid sensitive species. Overall, acid status of streams is not aligned with the altitude, stream size or any habitat property within the model GO catchment suggesting that the stream network is a mosaic of various local conditions determining water chemistry. Thus, macroinvertebrates can find suitable conditions or refugia in some parts of the catchment.
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