Assemblages of diving beetles (Dytiscidae) and mosquito immatures (Culicidae) were studied during 1987–1988 in 40 small, more or less temporary, snowmelt pools in spruce swamp forest and clearings at the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Larger pools were warmer than smaller ones, and clearing pools were warmer than forest pools. Temperature differences between pools remained high until late July. Twenty-one dytiscid species, representing three guilds, occurred in the pools, and individual pools had 1–13 species. Ten species occurred in both habitats. A few stenotopic species of boreal swamp forests had in clearing pools apparently been replaced by some species with a preference for more productive, often man-made habitats. Six Aedes species were collected in the clearing pools. Five of these were found in the forest pools, of which three had no mosquito larvae. Dytiscid assemblages in both habitats and culicid assemblages in clearing pools showed strong nested patterns.
Abundance and species richness of both culicids and dytiscids were higher in clearing than in forest pools with an area >2 m2 after that the effects of pool area had been accounted for (MANCOVA). In both habitats, abundance and species richness of both culicids and dytiscids were strongly and positively correlated with a linear combination of pool area, depth and temperature (Canonical Correlation). Increasing drought frequency of pools had a negative, less significant effect on the biota. In the clearing, the abiotic correlations with abundance were somewhat weakened chiefly by the relatively low abundance values from the largest pool.
Distribution and mean abundance of individual dytiscid species were positively related in the clearing pools. Flying dytiscids were trapped in the larger (1.6 m2), but not in the smaller (0.07 m2) artificial pools, and the immigration rate was markedly higher on clearings than in forest. Dug pools were colonized faster on clearings than in forest. Even the flightless Hydroporus melanarius colonized dug pools during the first year.
species richnessrelative abundanceDytiscidaeCulicidaetemporary poolsabiotic effects