Section Zoology


, Volume 68, Issue 5, pp 950-960

First online:

The influence of environmental variables on larval growth of stoneflies (Plecoptera) in natural and deforested streams

  • Iľja KrnoAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University Email author 
  • , Ferdinand ŠporkaAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • , Elena ŠtefkováAffiliated withInstitute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences

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A total 14 streams located in the Tatra Mts (Slovakia) were investigated. The studied river basins have different deforestation range (0–45.5%) influenced by windstorm. Daily and annual water temperature suggested that in streams overflowing through the area deforested by windstorm the temperature was higher than in selected non-disturbed streams. Higher average nutrient concentrations in samples from these streams are connected with nutrient mobilization from disturbed forest soils after the windstorm. Most of the damaged streams have higher trophic status, including POM and biofilms. The growth of the most abundant larvae increases with deforestation. Growth of species Leuctra rauscheri, Protonemura Montana, and Perlodes intricatus correlates with the sum of daily temperatures over a given time interval. Growth of species Brachyptera seticornis, Leuctra autumnalis and Isoperla sudetica are affected by stream trophy.

Key words

land cover windstorm deforestation temperature regime foods alpine stream ecosystem trophic status growth of stoneflies