Invertebrate Fauna (invertebrate + fauna)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Effects of increased flow in the main stem of the River Rhine on the invertebrate communities of its tributaries

Melanie C. Beckmann
Summary 1. We hypothesised that increased flow in the main stem of the River Rhine would influence the invertebrate communities of its tributaries and therefore investigated the invertebrate fauna of six tributaries over 2 years. 2. We collected quantitative invertebrate samples at three sites in each tributary: in the tributary mouth (influenced by Rhine water whenever flow in the Rhine exceeded mean annual level), in the zone reached by average floods (return period 1.5 years) in the Rhine (average flood level sites), and immediately upstream of the range of extreme Rhine floods (reference sites). Samples were taken in spring, summer and autumn of each year, at different flow levels of the Rhine. We also compared substratum composition at the three sites. 3. Tributary mouth sites had the finest substratum, the lowest total invertebrate density and the lowest taxon richness. At average flood level and reference sites, these three parameters were similar. 4. Taxa known to prefer larger rivers were mostly confined to the tributary mouth sites, and species preferring upland streams dominated at the average flood level and reference sites. 5. Multivariate analyses confirmed the influence of the Rhine on the tributary mouth sites. Invasive invertebrate species, which usually appear only in the Rhine itself, were found at the tributary mouth sites but not further up in the tributaries. 6. Our study shows that increased flow in the main stem of the Rhine influenced substratum composition and invertebrate communities at the tributary mouth sites. These results imply that the relationship between the main stem of a river and its tributaries is not one-way (from tributary to main stem), but rather a two-way interaction. [source]

Can C4 plants contribute to aquatic food webs of subtropical streams?

Joanne E. Clapcott
Summary 1. Recent stable isotope studies have revealed that C4 plants play a minor role in aquatic food webs, despite their often widespread distribution and production. We compared the breakdown of C3 (Eucalyptus) and C4 (Saccharum and Urochloa) plant litter in a small rain forest stream and used laboratory feeding experiments to determine their potential contribution to the aquatic food web. 2. All species of litter broke down at a fast rate in the stream, although Urochloa was significantly faster than Eucalyptus and Saccharum. This was consistent with the observed higher total organic nitrogen of Urochloa compared with the other two species. 3. The breakdown of Urochloa and Saccharum was, however, not associated with shredding invertebrates, which were poorly represented in leaf packs compared with the native Eucalyptus. The composition of the invertebrate fauna in packs of Urochloa quickly diverged from that of the other two species. 4. Feeding experiments using a common shredding aquatic insect Anisocentropus kirramus showed a distinct preference for Eucalyptus over both C4 species. Anisocentropus was observed to ingest C4 plant litter, particularly in the absence of other choices, and faecal material collected was clearly of C4 origin, as determined by stable isotope analysis. However, the stable carbon isotope values of the larvae did not shift away from their C3 signature in any of the feeding trials. 5. These data suggest that shredders avoid the consumption of C4 plants, in favour of native C3 species that appear to be of lower food quality (based on C : N ratios). Lower rates of consumption and lack of assimilation of C4 carbon also suggest that shredders may have a limited ability to process this material, even in the absence of alternative litter sources. Large scale clearing of forest and vegetation for C4 crops such as sugarcane will undoubtedly have important consequences for stream ecosystem function. [source]

Fallowing did not disrupt invertebrate fauna in Philippine low-pesticide irrigated rice fields

Kenneth G. Schoenly
Summary 1.,Fallowing, a type of rotation where no crop is grown, deprives insect pests of food. In tropical irrigated rice, it is not known whether fallow periods deplete natural enemy populations and reduce their pest control effectiveness in post-fallow crops. We tested the null hypothesis that small-scale synchronous cropping (embedded in asynchronously planted rice landscapes) does not significantly increase pest densities during post-fallow periods in the presence of a large, diverse natural enemy complex undisrupted by insecticides. We tested this null hypothesis by comparing the invertebrate fauna before and after fallowing. 2.,In six molluscicide-only fields at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in southern Luzon and at Zaragoza in central Luzon, Philippines, canopy and floodwater invertebrates were vacuum-sampled over two cropping seasons, dry and wet. 3.,Thirty-three of the ubiquitous common taxa dominated the samples in both seasons at each site. Most species were natural enemies of rice pests and recyclers of organic matter in the floodwater and waterlogged sediments; some were rice pests. 4.,Fallowing depleted populations of more ubiquitous taxa at Zaragoza (four natural enemies, one detritivore) than at IRRI (one herbivore, one natural enemy). At both sites, only green leafhoppers, Nephotettix virescens and Nephotettix nigropictus, had consistently higher post-fallow densities than pre-fallow densities. 5.,At both sites, fallowing did not affect rice-invertebrate faunas differently between seasons with regard to community structure, trajectories and accumulation rates of guild members. 6.,Synthesis and applications.,In tropical irrigated rice fields, small-scale synchronous fallowing combined with low-pesticide inputs and pest-resistant rice varieties did not induce pest outbreaks or notably diminish populations of natural enemies when embedded in asynchronous cropping on larger, regional scales. Our results suggest that small-scale synchronous fallowing, when embedded in asynchronously planted landscapes, does little harm to biological regulation of the invertebrate faunal community and may be adopted as part of integrated pest management when it serves other purposes. [source]

Evidence for a lacustrine faunal refuge in the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica, during the Last Glacial Maximum

Louise Cromer
Abstract Aim, There is no previous direct evidence for the occurrence of lacustrine refuges for invertebrate fauna in Antarctica spanning the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In the absence of verified LGM lacustrine refuges many species are believed to result from Holocene dispersal from sub-Antarctic islands and continents further north. If freshwater lake environments were present throughout the LGM, extant freshwater species may have been associated with Antarctica prior to this glacial period. This study looked at faunal microfossils in a sediment core from an Antarctic freshwater lake. This lake is unusual in that, unlike most Antarctic lakes, the sediment record extends to c. 130,000 yr bp, i.e. prior to the LGM. Location, Lake Reid, Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica (76°23, E; 69°23, S). Methods, Palaeofaunal communities in Lake Reid were identified through examination of faunal microfossils in a sediment core that extended to c. 130,000 yr bp. Results, Ephippia and mandibles from the cladoceran Daphniopsis studeri and loricae of the rotifer Notholca sp. were found at all depths in the sediment, indicating that these two species have been present in the lake for up to 130,000 years. Copepod mandibles were also present in the older section of the core, yet were absent from the most recent sediments, indicating extinction of this species from Lake Reid during the LGM. Main conclusion, The presence of D. studeri and Notholca sp. microfossils throughout the entire Lake Reid core is the first direct evidence of a glacial lacustrine refugium for invertebrate animals in Antarctica, and indicates the presence of a relict fauna on the Antarctic continent. [source]

Endemicity of Afromontane grasshopper assemblages: implications for grassland conservation

S. H. Foord
Abstract The Drakensberg escarpment in southern Africa is extensively afforested with pine plantations. The Afromontane grasslands in this area have large numbers of endemic plant taxa, but very little is known of their invertebrate fauna. We report on the microgeographical and broad-scale geographical characteristics of grasshoppers and their allies (Orthoptera) at the Groenvaly grassland fragmentation experiment site, South Africa. Pre-fragmentation sampling indicates that control sites and experimental fragments were comparable at the start of the experiment. Of the surveyed species (total 31 species) 25% are endemic to this grassland with another 33% occurring more widely in montane grasslands of south-eastern South Africa. The level of orthopteran endemicity is therefore similar to that of plants, emphasizing the conservation importance of this threatened habitat. There was a significant inverse relation between the degree of stenotopy of a species within the study site and its geographical range in southern Africa, with implications for interpreting the conservation importance of taxonomically and geographically unknown taxa such as the beetles (Coleoptera) in the Afromontane grassland. This information on endemicity of the Afromontane Orthoptera indicates that these grasslands harbour a diverse endemic fauna representing a significant part of southern African biodiversity. Résumé L'escarpement du Drakensberg, en Afrique australe, est largement couvert de plantations de pins. Les prairies afro-montagnardes de cette région comptent un grand nombre de taxons végétaux endémiques, mais on sait très peu de choses de leur faune d'invertébrés. Notre rapport porte sur les caractéristiques micro-géographiques et celles d'une plus grande échelle géographique des sauterelles et de leurs cousins (Orthoptères), sur le site expérimental de fragmentation des prairies de Groenvaly, en Afrique du Sud. L'échantillonnage pré-fragmentation indique que les sites de contrôle et les fragments expérimentaux étaient comparables au début de l'expérience. Des espèces étudiées (31 au total), 25% sont endémiques à cette prairie, tandis que 33 autres pour cent se rencontrent plus largement dans les prairies de montagne, au sud-est de l'Afrique du Sud. Le taux d'endémisme des orthoptères est dès lors semblable à celui des plantes, soulignant davantage l'importance de la conservation de cet habitat menacé. Il y avait une relation inverse significative entre le degré de sténotypie d'une espèce au sein du site étudié et sa distribution géographique en Afrique australe, ce qui a une incidence sur l'interprétation de l'importance de la conservation de taxons géographiquement et taxonomiquement inconnus comme les coléoptères (Coleoptera) de la prairie afro-montagnarde. Ces informations sur l'endémisme des Orthoptères afro-montagnards indiquent que ces prairies abritent une faune endémique variée qui représente une partie significative de la biodiversité de l'Afrique australe. [source]

Review of the ecology of Australian urban fauna: A focus on spatially explicit processes

Abstract Cities have a major impact on Australian landscapes, especially in coastal regions, to the detriment of native biodiversity. Areas suitable for urban development often coincide with those areas that support high levels of species diversity and endemism. However, there is a paucity of reliable information available to guide urban conservation planning and management, especially regarding the trade-off between investing in protecting and restoring habitat at the landscape level, and investing in programmes to maintain the condition of remnant vegetation at the local (site) level. We review the literature on Australian urban ecology, focusing on urban terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate fauna. We identify four main factors limiting our knowledge of urban fauna: (i) a lack of studies focusing at multiple ecological levels; (ii) a lack of multispecies studies; (iii) an almost total absence of long-term (temporal) studies; and (iv) a need for stronger integration of research outcomes into urban conservation planning and management. We present a set of key principles for the development of a spatially explicit, long-term approach to urban fauna research. This requires an understanding of the importance of local-level habitat quality and condition relative to the composition, configuration and connectivity of habitats within the larger urban landscape. These principles will ultimately strengthen urban fauna management and conservation planning by enabling us to prioritize and allocate limited financial resources to maximize the conservation return. [source]

Molecular evidence suggests an ancient radiation for the fairy shrimp genus Streptocephalus (Branchiopoda: Anostraca)

Phylogenetic relationships among assumed Gondwanan aquatic inland invertebrate fauna are generally largely neglected, and biogeographical hypotheses for these organisms are generally inferred from historic (palaeogeographical) and contemporary distribution patterns. The distribution of the monogeneric thermophilic freshwater fairy shrimp family Streptocephalidae (Streptocephalus) provides a particularly useful framework to test the three contrasting biogeographical scenarios proposed for the evolution of this group: (1) the genus evolved in Laurasia and subsequently dispersed into Africa and North America; (2) the genus evolved and dispersed out of Africa and (3) the current distribution of the genus is the result of vicariance following the fragmentation of Gondwana. In the present study, the phylogenetic relationships of species in this genus are examined with the use of two mitochondrial genes (12S rRNA and COI mtDNA), while the phylogenetic relationships among the North American species and selected African taxa was investigated using the nuclear fragment (5.8S-ITS-1-18S). Phylogenetic results indicate that Streptocephalus probably evolved in Gondwana and that the current distribution patterns are a consequence of a combination of vicariance and limited dispersal. The implications for the evolution of continental freshwater crustaceans are discussed. © 2004 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2004, 82, 313,327. [source]