, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 413-419
Date: 22 Oct 2008

Macroarthropod species richness and conservation priorities in Stratiotes aloides (L.) lakes

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Abstract

Species with narrow ranges and specialised traits are most at risk, and the extinction wave is further enhanced by coextinctions. We studied the conservation value and indicator potential of Stratiotes aloides, an aquatic macrophyte that has declined considerably in Europe. Our purpose was to determine whether S. aloides could be used as an indicator of a valuable habitat in terms of macroarthropod diversity and species richness. The potential occurrence of an internationally endangered Stratiotes-habitat specialist, the dragonfly Aeshna viridis, can increase the conservation value of plant colonies. S. aloides beds harboured diverse macroarthropod fauna often containing species of conservation concern, including A. viridis. Stratiotes is a potential indicator of a valuable habitat, and its indicator value is enhanced by the easy identification of the species. However, its use as an indicator of a defined macroarthropod community is limited because no particular community type is connected to it. We suggest that protecting Stratiotes simultaneously conserves valuable arthropod fauna, including A. viridis.