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  • Macroinvertebrates
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, 1 August 2011, Vol.48(4), pp.916-925
    Description: 1. Shoreline development and the associated loss of littoral habitats represent a pervasive alteration of the ecological integrity of lakes and have been identified as major drivers for the loss of littoral biodiversity world-wide. Little is known about the effects of shoreline development on the structure of, and energy transfer in, littoral food webs, even though this information is urgently needed for management and mitigation measures. 2. We measured macroinvertebrate biomass and analysed potential food resources using stable isotopes (δ¹³C, δ¹⁵N) and mixing models to compare the complexity and the trophic base of littoral food webs between undeveloped and developed shorelines in three North German lowland lakes. 3. The lower diversity of littoral habitats found at developed shorelines was associated with lower diversity of food resources and consumers. Consequently, the number of trophic links in food webs at developed shorelines was up to one order of magnitude lower as compared with undeveloped shorelines. 4. Mixing model analysis showed that consumer biomass at undeveloped shorelines was mainly derived from the particulate organic matter (FPOM) and coarse particulate organic matter of terrestrial origin (CPOM). The contribution of CPOM to consumer biomass was twofold lower at developed shorelines, and consumer biomass was mainly derived from FPOM and suspended particulate organic matter. 5. Synthesis and application. Shoreline development impacts the flow of organic matter within littoral food webs primarily through the reduction in littoral habitat diversity. These effects are exacerbated by clearcutting of the riparian vegetation, which disrupts cross-boundary couplings between the riparian and the littoral zone. Lakeshore conservation should focus on preserving the structural integrity of the littoral zone, while restoration of coarse woody debris, reed and root habitats can be a cost-efficient measure to improve degraded lakeshores. The local effects of shoreline development demonstrated in this study might lead to whole-lake effects, but future studies are needed to derive thresholds at which shoreline development has consequences for the structure and functioning of the entire ecosystem.
    Keywords: Vegetation and Community ecology
    ISSN: 00218901
    E-ISSN: 13652664
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Hydrobiologia, 2016, Vol.768(1), pp.37-50
    Description: Length–mass relationships are widely used to estimate body mass from body dimensions for freshwater macroinvertebrates. The relationships are influenced by environmental conditions and should be applied within ecosystems and geographic regions similar to those for which they were estimated. However, very few relationships exist for littoral macroinvertebrates, and thus we provide length–mass relationships for macroinvertebrates from lakes of the Central European lowlands. We compared log-linear and nonlinear methods for fitting length–mass relationships and tested the smearing factor for removing bias in mass predictions from log-linear models. We also estimated conversion factors to correct for mass changes during ethanol preservation and assessed the transferability of our results to different geographical regions. We showed that the log-linear approach gave better results in fitting length–mass relationships, while residuals showed that nonlinear models over-predict the mass of small individuals. The smearing correction factor successfully removed bias introduced by log transformation, and relationships transferred well between lakes in the same and different geographical regions. In total, 52 bias-corrected length–mass relationships are provided for littoral macroinvertebrates that are applicable also to lakes in geographic regions with similar environmental conditions, such as the Central European lowlands or the temperate lowland zone of America.
    Keywords: Preservation conversion factor ; Smearing factor ; Length–mass relationships ; Macroinvertebrates ; Additive vs. multiplicative errors ; Log-linear vs. nonlinear regression
    ISSN: 0018-8158
    E-ISSN: 1573-5117
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Hydrobiologia, 2016, Vol.776(1), pp.51-65
    Description: This study addressed the influence of common shoreline engineering structures (off-bankline revetment, rip rap and wing dike) on richness, biomass and secondary production of native and non-native macroinvertebrates in the navigation channel and near-shore habitats in the Elbe River (Germany). Within the navigation channel, only marginal differences among engineering structures were observed, and non-native species were absent from all samples. At the shoreline, secondary production of non-native species was significantly greater at the rip rap and represented 59% of total secondary production in near-shore habitats. Conversely, secondary production of native species at the shoreline was 9-fold lower at the rip rap and more than twice the rates at the wing dike. Differences in secondary production among engineering structures were attributed to differential distribution of substrate types. Boulder substrates, the dominant substrate type in the rip rap, promoted contributions of non-native species while macrophytes and silt were associated with high contributions of native species at the off-bankline revetment. Our results reveal that the morphological configuration of engineering structures in large rivers not only controls the rate of secondary production for macroinvertebrates but also the contribution of non-native species to total community functioning.
    Keywords: Ecosystem functioning ; Elbe River ; Dikerogammarus villosus ; Neozoa ; Non-native species ; River engineering
    ISSN: 0018-8158
    E-ISSN: 1573-5117
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Hydrobiologia, 2013, Vol.717(1), pp.147-159
    Description: Reduction of flow constitutes one of the most severe human alterations to rivers, as it affects the key abiotic feature of these ecosystems. While there has been considerable progress in understanding the effects of reduced flow on benthic macroinvertebrates, cascading effects of flow reduction on dissolved oxygen concentrations (DO) have not yet received much attention. We compared the macroinvertebrate composition between reference conditions and a situation after several years of discharge reduction in the Spree River (Brandenburg, Germany). Community composition shifted from rheophilic species to species indifferent to flow conditions. Filter feeders were partially replaced by collector/gatherers, which likely reduces the retention of organic matter, and thus the self-purification capacity of the river section. These shifts were associated with low discharge during summer, cascading into daily DO concentration minima of less than 5 mg l −1 which prevailed 74% of the days in summer. This depletion of DO after flow reduction presumably caused the observed species turnover. Hence, flow reduction in lowland rivers may not only directly impair the ecological functions provided by benthic macroinvertebrates but may also act indirectly by depleting DO concentrations.
    Keywords: Low flow ; Dissolved oxygen ; Discharge ; Functional feeding groups ; Flow preferences ; Spree River
    ISSN: 0018-8158
    E-ISSN: 1573-5117
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Hydrobiologia, 2016, Vol.767(1), pp.207-220
    Description: Lake shores are characterised by a high natural variability, which is increasingly threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic disturbances including morphological alterations to the littoral zone. The European Water Framework Directive (EU WFD) calls for the assessment of lake ecological status by monitoring biological quality elements including benthic macroinvertebrates. To identify cost- and time-efficient sampling strategies for routine lake monitoring, we sampled littoral invertebrates in 32 lakes located in different geographical regions in Europe. We compared the efficiency of two sampling methodologies, defined as habitat-specific and pooled composite sampling protocols. Benthic samples were collected from unmodified and morphologically altered shorelines. Variability within macroinvertebrate communities did not differ significantly between sampling protocols across alteration types, lake types and geographical regions. Community composition showed no significant differences between field composite samples and artificially generated composite samples, and correlation coefficients between macroinvertebrate metrics calculated with both methods and a predefined morphological stressor index were similar. We conclude that proportional composite sampling represents a time- and cost-efficient method for routine lake monitoring as requested under the EU WFD, and may be applied across various European geographical regions.
    Keywords: Morphological alteration ; Macroinvertebrates ; Lake monitoring ; Method comparison ; Littoral zone ; EU Water Framework Directive
    ISSN: 0018-8158
    E-ISSN: 1573-5117
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  • 6
    In: Freshwater Biology, June 2007, Vol.52(6), pp.1022-1032
    Description: 1. Nutrient inputs from urban and agricultural land use often result in shifts in species composition of pelagic and profundal invertebrate communities. Here, we test if nutrient enrichment affects the composition of eulittoral macroinvertebrate communities, and, if so, if macroinvertebrate communities of five different habitat types reflect differences in trophic state. 2. Macroinvertebrate community composition of 36 lakes was significantly correlated with total phosphorus (TP) concentration, the proportion of coarse woody debris (CWD) and root habitats and the proportion of grassland. 3. However, macroinvertebrate communities of five major habitat types from eight lakes were more dissimilar among habitats than among trophic states. Community composition of reed and stone habitats was significantly correlated with wind exposure but not TP concentration, while macroinvertebrate composition of sand habitats was related to TP concentration and coarse sediments. In CWD and root habitats, both TP concentration and a predominance of invasive species covaried, which made it difficult to relate the observed compositional differences to either trophic state or to the effects of competition between native and invasive species. 4. Trophic state influenced the composition of eulittoral macroinvertebrate communities but to a lesser extent than has been previously reported for profundal habitats. Moreover, the effects of trophic state were nested within habitat type and were partially superseded by biotic interactions and small‐scaled habitat complexity. Although eulittoral macroinvertebrate communities were not strong indicators of the trophic state of lowland lakes, they may be used to assess other anthropogenic impacts on lakeshores.
    Keywords: Eutrophication ; Habitat ; Invasive Species ; Lakeshore ; Land Use
    ISSN: 0046-5070
    E-ISSN: 1365-2427
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  • 7
    In: Freshwater Biology, October 2018, Vol.63(10), pp.1240-1249
    Description: Trophic interactions are important pathways of energy and matter fluxes in food webs and are commonly quantified using stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N). An important prerequisite for this approach is knowledge on the isotopic difference between consumer and resource (trophic discrimination, Δ13C and Δ15N). The range and mechanism causing variation of trophic discrimination factors remain unclear. We conducted a controlled feeding experiment with 13 freshwater benthic invertebrate taxa fed with six resources to test if the C:N, C:P and N:P ratios of consumer, resources and consumer‐resource imbalances are significant predictors of Δ13C and Δ15N. We compiled the available literature on discrimination factors for aquatic invertebrates from controlled feeding experiments and field studies to compare the variation in trophic discrimination. Molar C:N and C:P ratios of resources as well as consumer‐resource imbalances of C:N were significantly related to Δ13C and explained more than 40% of variation of Δ13C, respectively. Resource %N was unrelated to Δ15N, but consumer N:P explained 20% of variation of Δ15N. Our data taken together with the literature compilation provide a mean Δ13C of 0.1‰ (SD = 2.2, N = 157) and a mean Δ15N of 2.6‰ (SD = 2.0, N = 155) for aquatic invertebrates to be used in mixing model analysis for estimating dietary proportions. Our study bridges the currently separated disciplines of stable isotope discrimination and ecological stoichiometry and shows that resource C:N:P and consumer‐resource imbalances are powerful predictors of invertebrate trophic discrimination. Including these stoichiometric predictors into stable isotope mixing models may improve the estimates of the contribution of organic matter sources to the diet of invertebrate consumers. The overall discrimination factors for aquatic invertebrates derived from this study may help to produce precise estimates in trophic ecology if taxon‐specific discrimination factors are unavailable.
    Keywords: Consumer‐Resource Elemental Imbalance ; Ecological Stoichiometry ; Lipids ; Macroinvertebrates ; Stable Isotopes
    ISSN: 0046-5070
    E-ISSN: 1365-2427
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  • 8
    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, December 2007, Vol.44(6), pp.1138-1144
    Description: 1 The shores of many lakes have been substantially altered by human developments such as erosion control structures or recreational beaches. Such alterations are likely to increase in the future, yet almost nothing is known about their impacts on the littoral macroinvertebrate community. 2 Macroinvertebrates were studied in seven German lowland lakes exhibiting natural shorelines (reference), retaining walls, ripraps and recreational beaches to examine impacts on the eulittoral (0–0·2 m water depth) and infralittoral (0·2–1·2 m water depth) communities associated with the three types of shoreline development. 3 Among sites, eulittoral species richness and abundance of Coleoptera, Gastropoda, Trichoptera, shredders and xylophagous species were lowest on beaches and retaining walls but ripraps did not differ significantly from natural shorelines. Retaining walls and ripraps had no significant impact on the infralittoral macroinvertebrate community. Conversely, beaches had significantly lower infralittoral species richness and abundance of Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and shredders than natural shorelines. Furthermore, species richness was correlated positively with habitat heterogeneity expressed as number of habitat types. 4 Among lakes, whole‐lake littoral macroinvertebrate density increased with increasing proportion of developed shorelines due to increasing abundances of Chironomidae. The remaining macroinvertebrate major groups decreased with increasing proportion of shoreline development. 5 Synthesis and applications. The biological impacts of shoreline development in lowland lakes depend upon the extent to which structural complexity and heterogeneity of littoral habitats are reduced. Hence, we recommend that management programmes focus upon the conservation of littoral habitat complexity and habitat heterogeneity. The biological effects of shoreline development may be assessed efficiently by combining an assessment of the morphological status of lakeshores and information on macroinvertebrate indicator species with a defined response to the loss of their preferred habitats.
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Coarse Woody Debris ; Habitat Complexity ; Lake Management ; Macrophytes ; Recreational Beaches ; Retaining Walls ; Riparian Clearcutting ; Ripraps
    ISSN: 0021-8901
    E-ISSN: 1365-2664
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  • 9
    In: Fundamental and Applied Limnology / Archiv für Hydrobiologie, June 2015, Vol.186(4), pp.353-369
    Description: Hydromorphological alterations of lake shores constitute an important pressure on Central European lakes. The local ecological effects of such alterations can be assessed by multimetric assessment methods based on eulittoral macroinvertebrate communities. However, such tools so far only enable a local assessment even if the European Union Water Framework (EU WFD) requires an assessment at whole-lake level. Since due to time and financial constraints it is not feasible to perform small-scale macroinvertebrate assessments over the whole length of the lake shore, the site-specific ecological assessment result needs to be extrapolated. In this study, we analyse the use of a physical habitat survey method including both ground surveys and aerial photo analysis (HML = HydroMorphology of Lakes survey protocol) to enable an extrapolation from local to whole lake ecological assessment. For that purpose, we correlated individual macroinvertebrate metrics as well as results of a multimetric macroinvertebrate-based index (I) with the areal cover of surrounding natural shore elements, (II) with the hydromorphological impact within an encircling rectangle around the macroinvertebrate sampling site, and (III) with the hydromorphological impact in the adjacent epi-, eu- and sublittoral subsegments. Building up on this, an ecological whole lake assessment was achieved by averaging multimetric index scores calculated for each subsegement based on a regression equation between the multimetric index and the hydromorphological impacts in the three subsegments. This whole lake assessment approach can most likely be applied to geographical regions outside Central Europe and lake types not analysed here (fluvial lowland lakes, prealpine/alpine lakes), but more studies are necessary to verify this. Eventually, the extrapolation presented here may complement existing lake assessments under the EU WFD solely focusing on water quality so far.
    Keywords: Physical Habitat Survey ; Eu Water Framework Directive ; Hydromorphology Of Lakes Protocol (Hml) ; Hydromorphology ; Whole Lake Assessment ; Lakes ; Macroinvertebrates
    ISSN: 1863-9135
    E-ISSN: 23637110
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), 2016, Vol.19(2), pp.311-325
    Description: Ecosystems are generally linked via fluxes of nutrients and energy across their boundaries. For example, freshwater ecosystems in temperate regions may receive significant inputs of terrestrially derived carbon via autumnal leaf litter. This terrestrial...
    Keywords: Natural Sciences ; Naturvetenskap
    ISSN: 1432-9840
    E-ISSN: 14350629
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