Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 55, 2019
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Published online||15 November 2019|
Spatio-temporal distribution and species traits of water beetles along an oligotrophic hydrosystem: a case study
Croatian Natural History Museum, Demetrova 1, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
2 University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Rooseveltov trg, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
3 Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Burgring 7, 1010 Wien, Austria
4 Hrvatske vode, Central Water Management Laboratory, Ulica grada Vukovara 220, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 11 September 2019
This study presents the first comprehensive investigation of population aspects and ecological traits of water beetles in oligotrophic hydrosystems with tufa formation in southeastern Europe. Diverse lotic habitats (springs, rivers and tufa barriers) were investigated monthly for one year in Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Elmidae were the most diverse and abundant family, followed by Scirtidae and Hydraenidae. The ecological traits of water beetles were primarily defined by nutrients and water depth. Elmis bosnica Zaitzev, 1908, about which little has been published, was found to be bryophilous and to prefer low water temperatures. Biogeographical analysis revealed the dominance of typical southeastern and Mediterranean species. Species population dynamics could be attributed to differences in flow permanence, current velocity and canopy coverage. Both current velocity and water depth significantly influenced the occurrence of larval stages, while abundance of adults correlated with water depth. Our results highlight tufa barriers as preferred habitats for species of the genus Riolus and the family Scirtidae. The results of this study, many of which are the first to be reported for water beetles, provide a basis for further investigations of these animals and their ecology in oligotrophic hydrosystems with tufa. In particular, our study demonstrates the potential of Elmidae as water quality indicators, which should be considered in future conservation and protection management efforts.
Key words: biogeography / Coleoptera / Dinaric Karst / Elmis bosnica / protected area
© EDP Sciences, 2019
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