Wood in different stream types: Epixylic biofilm and wood-inhabiting invertebrates in a lowland versus an upland stream
1 Department of Limnology, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Muenster, Huefferstr. 1, D-48149, Germany
2 Saxon State Agency for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, PO 800132, D-01101 Dresden, Germany
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 15 January 2010
Colonization of incubated wood samples by invertebrates and biofilm was compared between a lowland and an upland stream over a 15 month period. Invertebrate densities increased during the first weeks of incubation and then decreased to rather stable densities during the remaining investigation period in both streams. Within the first incubation weeks invertebrate numbers were significantly higher in the lowland stream. Higher dissolved nutrient concentrations and water temperatures accelerated initial epixylic biofilm development in the lowland stream. Lowest invertebrate numbers on incubated branches in the lowland stream coincided with increased discharge. Extreme low flows in the upland stream resulted in lowest invertebrate numbers on incubated wood during the study. Temporal patterns of biofilm and invertebrates indicated some interactions, but statistical significance was low, which might be caused by the variety of interacting effects. Additionally, invertebrate assemblages of in-stream wood samples were collected from four lowland and four upland streams to examine differences of epixylic invertebrate assemblages between the two stream types. Invertebrate densities were significantly higher on submerged wood from lowland streams than wood from upland streams. However, no clear differences in invertebrate assemblages found between the stream types. The study results show that introduced wood in lowland and upland streams is rapidly colonized by aquatic invertebrates and provided an attachment site for biofilms. Invertebrate numbers during the first two months of incubation significantly overestimate the invertebrate numbers found on resident in-stream wood in lowland and upland streams. Analyses of taxonomic composition of wood-inhabiting invertebrate assemblages from natural wood from lowland and upland streams revealed that each stream displayed a rather specific epixylic fauna.
Key words: Epixylic biofilm / wood-inhabiting invertebrates / lowland sand stream / upland gravel stream / wood in streams
© EDP Sciences, 2010