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Dry phase duration and periodicity alter clitellate communities in central European intermittent streams

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Rok publikování 2022
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Hydrobiologia
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Klíčová slova Oligochaetes; Leeches; Drying; Beta diversity; Semiaquatic species; Climate change
Popis Small streams in the temperate continental region of central Europe have been recently exposed to frequent drying. We investigated the effects of drying on clitellate communities in 25 small streams evenly distributed along the gradient of flow intermittence. We observed that the community exposed to both irregular and periodic drying could maintain local species diversity. However, significant differences in clitellate species composition were observed between perennial, irregularly drying, and intermittent streams. The effect of drying was even stronger in intermittent streams, where significantly lower beta diversity was observed compared to perennial streams. The most important changes in clitellate composition were controlled by water temperature and geographical variables in perennial streams, while streams affected by drying were controlled by climate, with high mean July air temperature and low annual precipitation sums amplifying the effect. The abundance of semiaquatic species was also affected by the periodicity of the dry phase, with their proportion predicted in the regression tree analysis to be 11% in perennial and irregularly drying streams, and 40% in periodically drying streams. The observed changes in clitellate community structure suggest a gradual adaptation to increasing drying severity, in which sensitive species (e.g., rheobionts) may be replaced by desiccation-tolerant and semiaquatic species.
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