Invertebrate diversity patterns were examined in six rheocrene springs and six nearby, runoff-fed streams in Cantabria, Northern Spain. Periphyton biomass, organic matter and biomass of moss were always higher in springs than streams. Species densities (number of species/area) and rarified species richness (number of species/number of individuals) were lower and invertebrate densities greater in spring habitats. Of 22 variables chlorophyll- was the best predictor of species richness, whereas total organic matter was the best predictor of invertebrate density, although neither relationship was strong. Spring habitats had invertebrate communities dominated by non-insect taxa (e.g., Echinogammarus, and Hydrobiidae and Neritidae snails), in contrast to the insect dominated communities in runoff-fed streams (e.g., Baetis, Ecdyonurus, Elmis, Prosimulium, Scirtes and Chironomidae). Echinogammarus had the highest densities in springs; an order of magnitude greater than any other taxa. The effects of biotic processes, such as predation from Echinogammarus on community structure may be more marked in springs because predated individuals cannot be as readily replaced by drifting animals from upstream reaches. The reduced diversity in springs compared to streams could be a result of several factors including increased predation from animals such as Echinogammarus or the unusually constant thermal characteristics.
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"Groundwater-dominated springs are generally thermally stable lotic habitats compared to the majority of streams (Barquin and Death, 2004). Springs, especially coldwater rheocrenes, are natural laboratories well suited for examining environmental gradients because of the constancy of abiotic conditions which reduce the number of variables to be considered in field investigations (Glazier, 1991, 2009; Carroll and Thorp, 2014). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Springs are stable environments with constant abiotic factors and therefore of use in variety of ecologicalexperiments. We investigated the influence of canopy coverage on abundance, diversity, phenology andfeeding guilds among Diptera assemblages at two rheocrene karst springs located near each other. Thesprings differed by canopy coverage while physicochemical characteristics of the water were similar. Weset six emergence traps for one year at each spring covering all available microhabitats proportionally. Wehypothesized that canopy coverage will have a strong effect on assemblage composition of Diptera as wellas on diversity, abundance, phenology and feeding guilds composition between sites and that it will havea stronger effect than microhabitat characteristics. Similarity of species composition among springs wasonly 37.5%, with 23 common species/taxa out of 74 species/taxa. Abundance of Diptera was 8.5× higher atthe open canopy spring, while diversity and number of species/taxa was higher at closed canopy spring.Emergence started earlier at open canopy site and was prolonged even in winter months. The majorityof species were detritus feeders followed by collectors and there was no substantial difference amongsites. We conclude that at springs with similar water characteristics, canopy coverage is the main driverof Diptera assemblage structure, with water velocity as a complementary factor. Substrate and otherphysicochemical factors seem less important.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Limnologica - Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
"The stable springs stream had lower invertebrate diversity and greater invertebrate densities than the nearby runoff-fed streams. Also invertebrate community was markedly different between streams and springs (Barquín and Death 2004). In fact, due to their stable ecological features and their interface with freshwater and groundwater systems, they can support a variety of relatively rare and unusual fauna (Glazier 1991; Di Sabatino et al. 2003), providing refuge from disturbance events or extreme seasonal conditions (Maiolini et al. 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the life history and secondary production of four Ephemeroptera species (Baetis alpinus
Pictet, 1843–1845, Baetis rhodani Pictet, 1843–1845, Rhithrogena carpatoalpina Klonowska, Olechowska,
Sartoriet & Weichselbaumer, 1987 and Habroleptoides confusa Sartori & Jacob, 1986) in a temperature
stable cold spring stream at Prosiek valley (Chočské vrchy Mts., West Carpathians, Slovakia). We have
found asynchronous bivoltine life cycle for the most abundant species B. alpinus with growth rate positively
correlated to photoperiod length. R. carpatoalpina have shown unusual asynchronous univoltine
life cycle and B. rhodani have shown uncommonly low abundance in mayfly community. Total secondary
production of mayfly community was very low, reaching 1654.8 mg DW.m−2.y−1. We suggest that the
observed asynchrony in growth could be related to the lack of temperature control.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Limnologica - Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
"There are some studies comparing the benthic community structure in the longitudinal gradient from eucrenon to hypocrenon parts of running waters (Resh 1983; Barquin & Death 2004, 2011; Von Fumetti et al. 2007). Their results show two possible patterns: the richness of species within the spring is lower than in the downstream areas (Meffe & Marsh 1983; Barquin & Death 2004) or vice versa (Resh 1983). On the basis of the studies of many springs and their outflows, Von Fumetti et al. (2007) suggested that there is a possibility for both situations or even for the similarity of taxa richeness between the spring and the springbrook. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spatial patterns in macroinvertebrate communities and some abiotic factors were examined in three rheocrene springs and their springbrooks (Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, southern Poland). The mean discharge of particular springs ranged from 5 to 11 L s−1, and its annual fluctuations were small. Water temperature was very stable at all sampling sites. In the eucrenon the number of benthic taxa was the smallest (9–14 determined to the family level), but the densities were the highest (approx. 14000 ind. m−2). The biggest changes in macroinvertebrate composition were observed in the modified hypocrenon, which is an artificial pond. The lowest number of taxa were found in a natural, short springbrook with a nondiversified bottom substrate. The density of crenophilic taxa (Drusus trifidus, Dugesia gonocephala, Elmidae) diminished along the springbrooks, while the opposite trend was observed for ubiquitous taxa (some Oligochaeta, Asellus aquaticus and Chironomidae). Even in a very short natural springbrook (30 m), Drusus trifidus, the only species of Trichoptera found in the springs discussed here, goes through the entire development cycle. The strongest influence of a big river was observed at the outflow of one of the natural springbrooks, where the highest number of riverine oligochaete species were found. The benthic fauna of the springs studied here differed from that found in other springs in this area — the absence of the typical crenophilic species Bithynella austriaca (Gastropoda) and the presence of Gianus aquedulcis (Oligochaeta) may indicate the autonomy of the spring fauna in the Mstów area, possibly resulting from the postglacial geomorphological formation of this region or differences in habitat conditions.