Publication details

Distributional patterns and the dynamics of the aquatic biota within a large lowland river: the aims of a complex study on the Becva River



Year of publication 2005
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference RIVER BOTTOM VI - Book of abstracts
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Ecology
Keywords EURO-LIMPACS; river floodplain; macroinvertebrates; distributional patterns
Description A set of interconnected studies are being performed within the Becva River catchment to fulfill the aims of the Euro-limpacs project (GOCE-CT-2003-505540) funded by EU 6th Framework program. The Becva River catchment is characterized by flysch geology resulting in a highly variable flow regime. Most of the lowland part of the Becva River is regulated (as well as the majority of the other large rivers in the Czech Republic), but a catastrophic flood in 1997 caused the partial destruction of the canalization at several parts of this river. Due to a new approach to the river management some of these parts have been maintained in that more natural status (and were not newly regulated). Within these stretches the main channel has been broadened, the lateral connectivity has been restored and new hydromorphological structures (gravel bars, side arms that are partially fed by ground water, etc.) along with new habitats for the floodplain biota have emerged. Ecological relationships are studied at various spatial scales (microhabitat, mesohabitat, stretch) within the highly dynamic river floodplain ecosystem and selected processes are monitored seasonally. The main topics of the study are: a) seasonal dynamics of the river floodplain, especially shifts of its hydromorphological structures (riffles, pools, gravel bars, etc.) associated with erosion-sedimentation processes b) study of the taxonomical, ecological and age structure of macroinvertebrate communities in relation to the environmental conditions. In these ecological studies our attention is given primarily to the influence of temperature regime, substrate characteristics, hydraulic conditions and associated food supply. c) habitat preferences of particulate species d) colonization and recolonization patterns of the macroinvertebrate communities, concentrating on periodically flooded habitats (effect of timing and duration of high flows) and habitats where the hydraulic conditions are again getting suitable to the macroinvertebrates after high flow episodes (mid-channel habitats, flooded for the whole year but highly disturbed during the high discharges).
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