Change does not happen overnight: a case study on stream macroinvertebrates
The influence of day/night conditions on individual animal/plant species has been widely studied, but diel cycle studies of the entire stream macroinvertebrate community are extremely rare. This study explored potential dissimilarities between daytime and nighttime macroinvertebrate assemblages by extensive fieldwork conducted in the Lemme stream, a natural water course of NW Italy. Here numerous structural and functional metrics (richness, abundance, biomass, indicator taxa, composition, biomonitoring values and feeding groups) were evaluated at the family level. Small-scale environmental variables were investigated to understand possible differences between macroinvertebrate assemblages in the daytime/nighttime. After collecting and identifying 21 459 organisms of 50 taxa, Chironomidae (Diptera) was the most abundant under both day and night conditions. Our findings stressed that similar results and biological information on daytime/nighttime data were obtained. No marked differences could be related to various factors: heterotrophic condition of small-order streams, presence of aquatic predators under night and day conditions, absence of taxa with a specific phototaxis. Of all the environmental variables, velocity was always the most important in both situations, with some differences detected in the importance of the second variable (riverbed substrate diameter). This research, and future studies on different conditions and geographic areas, will contribute knowledge on stream macroinvertebrate diel activity, and provide useful information about efficient sampling strategies.
Auteurs du document :
S. Guareschi, A. Laini, S. Fenoglio, M. Paveto, T. Bo