Publication details

The enigmatic copepod Hemidiaptomus amblyodon and its endangered temporal habitats



Year of publication 2018
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Temporal vernal pools are habitats of unique invertebrate fauna, including many of specialized crustaceans. Among them, interesting calanoid species Hemidiaptomus (Gigantodiaptomus) amblyodon (Marenzeller, 1883) is one of the most spectacular creatures, which is typical of its large size and dark blue color. This Euro-Siberian species is inhabitant of alluvial vernal pools in larger river floodplains, but recently we have found also some new sites in pools on agricultural fields. Although this copepod is quite conspicuous, we still know very little about its biology and ecology. New records from more sites in the eastern part of the Czech Republic show that it is still overlooked animal. Moreover, it probably can occur only in some years according to some environmental factors, which are not exactly known yet. But with certainty, it can be said that the occurrence of this species is typical for well-preserved pools or for pools with the occurrence of other important rare taxa of temporal waters, including fairy shrimp Eubranchipus grubii, tadpole shrimp Lepidurus apus or clam shrimp Cyzicus tetracerus. Thus, H. amblyodon can be used as indicator species for endangered invertebrate assemblages. Recently, periodically flooded ephemeral pools on arable soil are overlooked endangered habitats which serve as refuge for many wetland organisms within mostly homogenous agricultural landscape. Conservation of these habitats and their unique fauna is an urgent challenge for the future.

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