The patchiness of macrozoobenthic communities at the waterfall sites within Plitvice lakes

Jakopović, Silvija (2014) The patchiness of macrozoobenthic communities at the waterfall sites within Plitvice lakes. Diploma thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Abstract

Samples of macrozoobenthos and tufa substratum were collected during 2006 and 2007 across 4 sampling sites (microhabitats) on a small spatial scale, along a single barrier-cascading study reach. Physico-chemical water characteristics were also measured, including flow velocity as one of the most important ecological factor influencing the structure and function of stream ecosystems. The applied sampling methodology allowed the investigation of the microhabitats’ spatio-temporal hydromorphological changes, and their influence on distribution of macrozoobenthic lotic community, and particulate organic and inorganic particles in substratum. The investigated microhabitats differed in hydromorphological characteristics (substratum type and flow conditions) spatially and temporally, depending on their position within the study reach, and on season as well. The environmental differences then reflected on the particulate matter and benthic community spatio-temporal patterns. The fast-flowing barrier (riffle) sites had larger proportions of larger particles and organisms in substratum/benthos, including higher amounts of moss, moss-attached tufa and fine particulate organic matter (FPOM). The slow-flowing (pool) sites had smaller amounts of moss, but higher amounts of other coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) particles in substratum, and small-size organisms in benthos. The most of the macroinvertebrate fauna found in benthic samples during this study was comprised of larval insects, but aquatic Oligochaeta, as well as Hydrachnidia, Cladocera (Alona spp.) and Copepoda (Harpacticoida) were also numerous. Coleopteran family Elmidae, and dipteran family Simuliidae showed an affinity to live within the fast-flowing microhabitats, whereas cladoceran and copepod representatives were more abundant within the slow-flowing reaches. The results of this study suggest that the distribution and size-structure of the organic and inorganic particles, as well as macrozoobenthic organisms largely depend on hydromorphological factors of the waterfall sites, and organisms’ ecological and ethological traits, respectively. It is also proven that the patchy distribution of the moss within the substratum largely affects the distribution of the macrozoobenthos and particulate organic and inorganic matter across the investigated waterfall sites as well.

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
Keywords: benthos , macroinvertebrates , hydromorphological factors , water flow velocity , organic matter
Supervisor: Primc, Biserka
Co-supervisor: Sertić Perić, Mirela
Date: 2014
Number of Pages: 65
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Grozdana Sirotic
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2014 14:03
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2014 14:03
URI: http://digre.pmf.unizg.hr/id/eprint/656

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