, Volume 119, Issue 3, pp 219-225

Macroinvertebrates as ‘describers’ of morphological and hydrological types of aquatic ecosystems abandoned by the Rhône River

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Samples of aquatic macroinvertebrates were taken from abandoned beds of the river Rhône in the Brégnier-Cordon area. This sector of the French Upper Rhône is particularly rich in old beds or ‘lônes’ which vary in age and morphological type and have more or less direct connections with the river.

Samples were collected using a hand net in eight different ‘lônes’. The results concerned five groups of fauna: Mollusca, Crustacea, Ephemeroptera, Coleoptera, Trichoptera. The study revealed a wide range of fauna, and the fact that group of taxa can be used to describe types of ‘lônes’ defined by morphological and hydrological characteristics. This kind of research adds to our understanding of how such aquatic ecosystems evolve, and may be applied in a more general way to other important river systems.