Tomasz Krepski, Łukasz Sługocki, Iwona Goździk, Maciej Humiczewski, Rafał Popko, Robert Czerniawski

Spatial Distribution Patterns of Zooplankton and Macroinvertebrates in a Small River under Strong Anthropogenic Pressure

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry

The main objective of this study was to examine the spatial distribution patterns of aquatic invertebrates in an environment characterized by significant anthropogenic stress. During the entire research period, at all the sites, we noticed 72 taxa of zooplankton and 30 taxa of macroinvertebrates. Variation partitioning analysis reveals that the assemblages of planktonic organisms are much more determined by the time of sampling rather than by the site, in contrary to macroinvertebrates where the sampling time was only slightly more responsible for the composition of the benthic communities than the site. Spatial distribution of aquatic organisms in a small lowland river under strong anthropopressure shows significant deviations from the expectations of the River Continuum Concept (RCC). The benthic macroinvertebrate and littoral zooplankton communities exhibited a strong association with local site conditions, while, in contrast, pelagic zooplankton exhibited a strong dependency on drift and its production in the upper reaches of the river, leading to relatively consistent compositions downstream despite the highly altered river environment. To improve the biodiversity values and ecological state of a river, restoration treatments of bed and shore zones are required.

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