Taxon-specific sensitivities to flow intermittence reveal macroinvertebrates as potential bioindicators of intermittent rivers and streams

Miliša, M., Stubbington, R. ORCID: 0000-0001-8475-5109, Datry, T., Cid, N., Bonada, N., Sumanovic, M. and Milosevic, D., 2022. Taxon-specific sensitivities to flow intermittence reveal macroinvertebrates as potential bioindicators of intermittent rivers and streams. Science of the Total Environment, 804: 150022. ISSN 0048-9697

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Abstract

As complex mosaics of lotic, lentic, and terrestrial habitats, intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES) support high biodiversity. Despite their ecological importance, IRES are poorly represented in routine monitoring programs, but recent recognition of their considerable—and increasing—spatiotemporal extent is motivating efforts to better represent IRES in ecological status assessments. We examine response patterns of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities and taxa to flow intermittence (FI) across three European climatic regions. We used self-organizing map (SOM) to ordinate and classify sampling sites based on community structure in regions with continental, Mediterranean and oceanic climates. The SOM passively introduced FI, quantified as the mean annual % flow, and visualized its variability across classified communities, revealing a clear association between community structure and FI in all regions. Indicator species analysis identified taxa indicative of low, intermediate and high FI. In the continental region, the amphipod Niphargus was indicative of high FI and was associated with groundwater-fed IRES, whereas indicators of Mediterranean IRES comprised Odonata, Coleoptera and Heteroptera taxa, which favor lentic conditions. In the oceanic region, taxa indicative of relatively high FI included leuctrid stoneflies and a limnephilid caddisfly, likely reflecting the colonization of IRES by aerial adults from nearby perennial reaches. The Diptera families Chironomidae and Simuliidae showed contrasting FI preferences among regions, reflecting environmental heterogeneity between regions and the coarse taxonomic resolution to which these organisms were identified. These region-specific community and taxon responses of aquatic biota to FI highlight the need to adapt standard biotic indices to enable effective ecological status assessments in IRES.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Science of the Total Environment
Creators: Miliša, M., Stubbington, R., Datry, T., Cid, N., Bonada, N., Sumanovic, M. and Milosevic, D.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: January 2022
Volume: 804
ISSN: 0048-9697
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150022DOI
S004896972105097XPublisher Item Identifier
1464144Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Lee Houghton
Date Added: 14 Sep 2021 14:43
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2021 14:43
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44165

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