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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 568, Issue 1, pp 493–498 | Cite as

Macroinvertebrate succession during leaf litter breakdown in a perennial karstic river in Western Brazil

  • Marcel O. Tanaka
  • Augusto C. A. Ribas
  • Andréa L. T. de Souza
Short Research Note

Abstract

Leaf litter is a major basal resource to stream ecosystems, but few studies addressed their role in karst systems, mainly in intermittent springs and lakes. Patterns of resource use in perennial rivers are poorly known, although the input of leaf litter strongly influences macroinvertebrate assemblage structure. In this study, we evaluated the structure of macroinvertebrate assemblages along the decomposition of leaf litter in a tropical karst river, using leaf litter cages made of coarse nylon mesh (25 mm) to allow colonization by macroinvertebrates. The experiment was followed weekly for 10 weeks. The assemblages were dominated by snails (90.5% of total fauna), hyalellid amphipods, and larval chironomid midges, with highest abundances in the intermediate stages of the experiment, resulting in a gradient in assemblage structure. The large abundance of snails, which are common in other karst systems, suggest that this group may have an important role in decomposer food webs, facilitating or directly contributing to leaf breakdown.

Keywords

decomposition leaf litter macroinvertebrates snails tropical 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel O. Tanaka
    • 1
    • 3
  • Augusto C. A. Ribas
    • 2
  • Andréa L. T. de Souza
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia, CCBS, CP 549Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do SulCampo GrandeBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação, CCBS, CP 549Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do SulCampo GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de HidrobiologiaUniversidade Federal de São Carlos, CP 676São CarlosBrazil

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