Advertisement

Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 67–78 | Cite as

Longitudinal and seasonal pattern of insect emergence in alpine streams

  • Leopold Füreder
  • Manfred Wallinger
  • Rainer Burger
Article

Abstract

Prevailing water sources and/or regional climate are known to have an important influence on hydromorphology and chemistry of high alpine streams, affecting biology and phenology of aquatic insects considerably. Seven reaches in two different stream types (glacial and non-glacial) in the European Central Alps were investigated along a longitudinal gradient above the tree line to elucidate community structure and emergence patterns of aquatic insects. Aquatic insect emergence was dominated by chironomid taxa in both streams (95.0% in the glacial vs. 90.5% in the spring-fed stream). Emergence rate was much higher in the non-glacial stream, with Chironomidae 638.9 ind. m−2 d−1 and EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera) 20.3 ind. m−2 d−1 (annual mean), compared to the glacial stream (Chironomidae 132 ind. m−2 d−1 and EPT 7.0 ind. m−2 d−1). Whereas, in the glacial stream a richer and more diverse species composition was found at lower elevations, emergence rate and emerging taxa numbers were higher at higher altitude in the non-glacial stream. Seasonal comparisons also showed a significant difference between the two streams. In the glacial stream maximum emergence was in April/May, whereas, in the non-glacial stream in July. A comparison with similar studies carried out in alpine streams showed that abundance and biomass of emerging insects were relatively low in the glacial stream. The continuous emergence throughout the summer is another example of insect life-cycle adaptation to the harsh environmental conditions in glacial streams: most likely, emergence during the warmer summer months, where the probability of experiencing favourable climate conditions on land is higher than for the rest of the year, was an evolutionary advantage for many glacial stream taxa.

Keywords

Aquatic insects Chironomids Emergence window Glacier-fed Spring-fed 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Armitage, P.D. 1995Behaviour and ecology of adultsArmitage, P.D.Cranston, P.S.Pinder, L.C.V. eds. The Chironomidae: Biology and Ecology of Non-biting MidgesChapman and HallLondon194224Google Scholar
  2. Brittain, J.E. 1978Semivoltinism in mountain populations of Nemurella pictetii (Plecoptera)Oikos3016Google Scholar
  3. Brittain J.E. and Milner A.M. 2001. Special Issue: Glacier-fed rivers – unique lotic ecosystems. Freshwat. Biol. 46. 1571–1847.Google Scholar
  4. Brittain, J., Saltveit, S.J., Castella, E., Bogen, J., Bnsnes, T.E., Blakar, I., Bremnes, T., Velle, G. 2001The macroinvertebrate communities of two contrasting Norwegian glacial rivers in relation to environmental variablesFreshwat. Biol.4617231736Google Scholar
  5. Burgherr, P., Ward, J.V. 2001Longitudinal and seasonal distribution patterns of the benthic fauna of an alpine glacial stream (Val Roseg, Swiss Alps)Freshwat. Biol.4617051721Google Scholar
  6. Butler, M.G. 1980Emergence phenologies of some arctic Alaskan ChironomidaeMurray, D.A. eds. Chironomidae. Ecology, Systematics, Cytology and PhysiologyPergamon PressOxford and New York307314Google Scholar
  7. Butler, M.G. 1982A 7-year life cycle for two Chironomus species in arctic Alaskan tundra ponds (Diptera: Chironomidae)Can. J. Zool.605870Google Scholar
  8. Chernov, Y.I. 1995Diversity of the Arctic terrestrial faunaChapin, F.S.Körner, C. eds. Arctic and Alpine Biodiversity: Patterns, Causes and Ecosystem ConsequencesSpringer-VerlagBerlin8195Google Scholar
  9. Coffman, W.P. 1973Energy flow in a woodland stream ecosystem: II. The taxonomic composition and phenology of the Chironomidae as determined by the collection of pupal exuviaeArch. Hydrobiol.71281322Google Scholar
  10. Crema, S., Ferrarese, U., Golo, D., Modena, P., Sambugar, B., Gerecke, R. 1996Ricerche sulla fauna betonica e interstiziale di ambienti sorgentizi in area alpina e prealpina. A research on benthic and interstitial fauna in alpine an pre-alpine springsCentro di Ecologia AlpinaTrentoReport N81104Google Scholar
  11. Franz, H. 1979Ökologie der HochgebirgeUlmerStuttgartGoogle Scholar
  12. Frisbie, M.P., Lee, R.E. 1997Inoculative freezing and the problem of winter survival for freshwater macroinvertebratesJ. N. Am. Benthol. Soc.16635650Google Scholar
  13. Füreder, L. 1999High alpine streams: cold habitats for insect larvaeMargesin, R.Schinner, F. eds. Cold Adapted Organisms. Ecology, Physiology, Enzymology and Molecular BiologySpringer VerlagBerlin181196Google Scholar
  14. Füreder, L., Schütz, C., Burger, R., Wallinger, M. 2000Seasonal abundance and community structure of Chironomidae in two contrasting high alpine streamsVerh. Int. Verein. Limnol2715961601Google Scholar
  15. Füreder, L., Schütz, C., Wallinger, M., Burger, R. 2001Physico–chemistry and aquatic insects of a glacier-fed and a spring-fed alpine streamFreshwat. Biol.4616731690Google Scholar
  16. Gendron, J.M., Laville, H. 1993Diel emergence patterns of drifting chironomid (Diptera) pupal exuviae in the River Aude (Eastern Pyrenees, France)Neth. J. Aquat. Ecol.26273279Google Scholar
  17. Gibberson, D.J., Rosenberg, D.M. 1992Effects of temperaturefood quantity, and nymphal rearing density on life-history traits of a northern population of Hexagenia (Ephemeroptera: Ephemeridae)J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc.11181193Google Scholar
  18. Gislason, G.M., Adalsteinsson, H., Olafsson, J.S., Hansen, I. 2000Invertebrate communities of glacial and alpine rivers in the central highlands of IcelandVerh. Int. Verein. Limnol.2716021606Google Scholar
  19. Janetschek, H. 1949Tierische Successionen auf hochalpinem Neuland. Nach Untersuchungen am Hintereis-, Niederjoch- und Gepatschferner in den Ötztaler AlpenBer. nat-med. Ver. Innsbruck.48/491215Google Scholar
  20. Kownacka, M., Kownacki, A. 1975Gletscherbach-Zuckmücken der Ötztaler Alpen in Tirol (Diptera: Chironomidae: Diamesinae)Entomol. Ger.23543Google Scholar
  21. Lavandier, P. 1975Cycle vital de Pachyleuctra benlocchi (Navas) dans un ruisseau d altitude des Pyrenees centrales (Plecoptera)Ann. Limnol.1215Google Scholar
  22. Learner, M.A., Wiles, R., Pickering, J. 1990Diel emergence patterns of chironomidsInt. Rev. Ges. Hydrobiol.75569581Google Scholar
  23. Lencioni V. 2000. Chironomid (Diptera: Chironomidae) assemblages in three alpine glacial systems. Ph.D. thesis, University of Innsbruck, Austria202 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Lencioni, V., Maiolini, B., Rossaro, B. 2000The kryal and rhithral chironomid community in the Caré Alto system (Italian central–eastern Alps)Verh. Int. Verein. Limnol.27711715Google Scholar
  25. Meyer, E., Thaler, K. 1995Animal diversity at high altitudes in the Austrian Central AlpsChapin, F.S.Körner, C. eds. Arctic and Alpine Biodiversity: Patterns, Causes and Ecosystem ConsequencesSpringer-VerlagBerlin97108Google Scholar
  26. Milner, A.M., Petts, G.E. 1994Glacial rivers: physical habitat and ecologyFreshwat. Biol.32295307Google Scholar
  27. Newbold, J.D., Sweeney, B.W., Vannote, R.L. 1994A model for seasonal synchrony in stream mayfliesJ. N. Am. Benthol. Soc.13318Google Scholar
  28. Oliver, D.R. 1968Adaptations of arctic ChironomidaeAnn. Zool. Fenn.5111118Google Scholar
  29. Oswood, M.W., Miller, L.K., Irons, J.G. 1991Overwintering of freshwater benthic macroinvertebratesLee, R.E.Denlinger, D.L. eds. Insects at Low TemperatureChapman and HallNew York and London360374Google Scholar
  30. Rempel, R.S., Harrison, A.D. 1987Structural and functional composition of the community of Chironomidae (Diptera) in a Canadian Shield StreamCan. J. Zool.6525452554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schütz C. 1999. The benthic fauna of high Alpine streams. Ph.D. thesis, University of Innsbruck, Austria95 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Schütz, C., Wallinger, M., Burger, R., Füreder, L. 2001Effects of snow cover on the benthic fauna in a glacier-fed streamFreshwat. Biol.4616911704Google Scholar
  33. Sømme, L. 1997Adaptations to the alpine environment in insects and other terrestrial arthropodsWielgolaski, F.E. eds. Ecosystems of the World 3. Polar and Alpine TundraElsevierAmsterdam1125Google Scholar
  34. Tockner, K., Malard, F., Burgherr, P., Robinson, C.T., Uehlinger, U., Zah, R., Ward, J.V. 1997Physico–chemical characterization of channel types in a glacial floodplain ecosystem (Val Roseg, Switzerland)Arch. Hydrobiol.140433463Google Scholar
  35. Ward, J.V. 1994Ecology of alpine streamsFreshwat. Biol.32277294Google Scholar
  36. Wartinbee, D.C. 1979Diel emergence patterns of lotic ChironomidaeFreshwat. Biol.9147156Google Scholar
  37. Welch, H.E. 1973Emergence of Chironomidae (Diptera) from Char LakeResoluteNorthwest TerritoriesCan. J. Zool.5111131123CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leopold Füreder
    • 1
  • Manfred Wallinger
  • Rainer Burger
  1. 1.Institute of Zoology and LimnologyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

Personalised recommendations