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The response of chironomid assemblages to mineral richness gradient in the Western Carpathian spring fens

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Rok publikování 2011
Druh Konferenční abstrakty
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Popis Water chemistry, especially mineral richness determined mainly by bedrock, represents the main gradient in Western Carpathian spring fens. It shapes the aquatic environment of spring fens as it determines vegetation cover and influences substratum composition, and may have a direct effect on aquatic organisms as well. In Western Carpathians, spring fens covering a whole range of mineral richness (basicity) gradient from mineral-poor, Sphagnum fens to mineral-rich fens with tufa formation can be found. Within this study we asked a question whether, and to what extent, do chironomid assemblages respond to the mineral richness gradient. Chironomid larvae were collected from two contrasting habitats (standing- and flowing-water part of the fens) at 17 sites three times: in spring, summer and autumn in order to collect most of the chironomid species inhabiting the fens. The samples from the three seasons were pooled together leading to 17 samples from each of the two habitats. Preliminary results indicate that although neither total abundance nor taxa richness did change along the mineral richness gradient, the main variation in the chironomid assemblage taxonomic structure could indeed be found on the gradient of mineral richness. Moreover, the taxonomic composition of chironomid assemblages of flowing-water habitats responded to this gradient more strongly than the assemblage of standing-water habitats. We hypothesize that this discrepancy might have been caused by higher vulnerability of standing-water habitats to desiccation or overheating. The shift in the assemblage taxonomic structure along the mineral richness gradient could be documented by responses of individual taxa: e.g. Macropelopia sp. and Paratendipes nudisquama prefered acidic, while Parametriocnemus stylatus and Neostempellina thienemanni prefered basic conditions. As substratum was strongly related to water chemistry, it might had been one of the driving forces behind the assemblage shift.
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