Title: Modelling the Response of Lake Macroinvertebrate Species in the Shallow Sub-Littoral: Relative Roles of Habitat, Lake Morphology, Aquatic Chemistry and Sediment Composition
Citation: HYDROBIOLOGIA vol. 633 no. 1 p. 123-136
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC50489
ISSN: 0018-8158
URI: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k538857018r4j4n6/fulltext.pdf
DOI: 10.1007/s10750-009-9869-7
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Macroinvertebrates are one of the key components of lake ecosystems and are required to be monitored alongside other biological groups to define ecological status according to European Union legislation. Macroinvertebrate communities are highly variable and complex and respond to a diverse series of environmental conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relative importance of environmental variables in explaining macroinvertebrate abundance. A total of 45 sub-alpine lakes were sampled for macroinvertebrates in the shallow sub-littoral. Environmental variables were grouped into four types: aquatic physicochemistry, littoral and riparian habitat, lake morphometric parameters and sediment chemical characteristics. Nonparametric multiplicative regression (NPMR) was used to model the abundance of individual macroinvertebrate taxa. Significant models were produced for nine out of the 24 taxa examined. Sediment chemical characteristics were the group most frequently included in models and also the factors to which taxa abundance was the most sensitive. Aquatic physicochemical variables were the next group most frequently included in models although chlorophyll a was not included in any models and total phosphorus in only one. This indicates that many taxa may not show a direct easily interpretable response to eutrophication pressure. Lake morphometric factors were included in several of the models although the sensitivity of macroinvertebrate abundance tended to be lower than for sediment and aquatic physicochemical factors. Habitat factors were only included in three models although riparian vegetation was found to have a significant influence on the abundance of Ephemera danica indicating that ecotone integrity is likely to play a role in its ecology. Overall, the models tended to be specific for species with limited commonality across taxa. Models produced by NPMR indicate that the response of macroinvertebrates to environmental variables can be successfully described but further research is required focusing in more detail on the response of key taxa to relevant environmental parameters and anthropogenic pressures.
JRC Institute:Sustainable Resources

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