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Macroinvertebrate communities of montane standing waters in the Czech Republic and Bavaria: effects of past acidification and littoral zone properties

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Rok publikování 2018
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Popis Montane standing waters in the Czech Republic and SW Bavaria are rather rare, especially when compared to widespread eutrophic fishponds at low altitudes. Although the montane water bodies are predominantly artificial, built for the purpose of water resource management, timber floating, flood control or fish farming, their littoral habitats can resemble those of natural montane lakes and host specialized communities including rare and relict species. Some of them are protected by law for their ecological value. In this study, we focused on Czech and Bavarian oligotrophic or mesotrophic standing waters located in three mountain ranges (the Bohemian Forest/Šumava in Czech, Jizerské hory Mts., Krušné hory Mts.), which were affected by acidification caused by heavy atmospheric pollution between the 1950s and 1980s. Despite recent chemical and biological recovery, some influence of acidification can still be detectable in some areas. Other recent potential impacts on biota include water level manipulation and fish farming. The main aim of this study was to describe littoral macroinvertebrate communities across various types of montane standing waters, to evaluate the species composition and biodiversity, and to assess the influence of the past acidification, littoral zone structure, and water level manipulation. Sampling of macroinvertebrates was performed in 2014 and 2015 at 23 waterbodies: natural glacial lakes recently recovering from strong acidification, small reservoirs used for timber transport in the past, ponds or small reservoirs in naturally acidic, peatland areas, and large reservoirs characterized by water level manipulation and different influence of acidification. The strongest impact on macroinvertebrate communities was water level manipulation, preventing formation of stable vegetated littoral zone. Lakes and ponds with stable sedge-rich littoral zone were inhabited by species rich communities, the composition of which were significantly affected by water pH and proportion of organic substrate in the littoral. Moreover, acidic sites with pH < 5 differed in toxic aluminium concentration, thus, littoral macroinvertebrates of the chronically acidified lakes can be constrained by toxic aluminium more than by acidic pH itself. Organic substrate in the littoral was correlated with the development of sedges in the littoral zone of the lakes. The study was supported by project of specific research on Masaryk University (MUNI/A/0816/2017) and project INTERREG 26: Silva Gabreta Monitoring – transboundary monitoring of biodiversity and water regime.
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