, 573:199 | Cite as

Local and regional factors determining aquatic and semi-aquatic bug (Heteroptera) assemblages in rivers and streams of Greece

  • Ioannis KaraouzasEmail author
  • Konstantinos C. Gritzalis
Primary Research Paper


Heteroptera species were collected from 48 sites distributed throughout the mainland and island complexes of Greece during 1999–2004. The aims of this study were to investigate Heteroptera distribution and abundance in Greek streams, identify the environmental factors that are linked to variation in their assemblages and to partition the influence of environmental and spatial components, alone and in combination, on Heteroptera community composition. Canonical ordination techniques (CCA) were used to determine the relationship between environmental variables and species abundance, while variation partitioning was performed using partial CCA to understand the importance of different explanatory variables in Heteroptera variation. Heteroptera variation was decomposed into independent and joint effects of local (physicochemical variables, microhabitat composition, stream width and depth), regional (land use/cover) and geographic variables (longitude, latitude, altitude and distance to source). Land use/cover, aquatic and riparian vegetation, stream size and water chemistry were the most important factors structuring Heteroptera assemblages. At regional scale, bug assemblages were mainly divided into those found in forested and agricultural landscapes, following water quality and microhabitat composition at local scale. Local variables accounted for 48% of the total explained variation, regional variables for 20% whereas geographical position appeared to be the least influencing factor (8.5%). The results of partial constraint analyses suggested that local variables play a major role in Heteroptera variation followed by regional variables.


Heteroptera assemblages distribution variation partitioning multivariate analysis environmental factors Greece 

Supplementary material


  1. Ahlroth P., Alatalo R. V., Holopainen A., Kumpulainen T. and Suhonen J. (2003). Founder population size and number of source populations enhance colonization success in water striders. Oecologia 137: 617–620PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan J. D., Erickson D. L. and Fay J. (1997). The influence of catchment land use on stream integrity across multiple spatial scales. Freshwater Biology 37: 149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allan J. D. (2004). Landscapes and riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems. Annual Reviews of Ecology and Systematics 35: 257–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. AQEM Consortium, 2002. Manual for the application of the AQEM method. A comprehensive method to assess European streams using macroinvertebrates, developed for the purpose of Water Framework Directive. Version 1.0, February 2002Google Scholar
  5. Armitage P. D., Moss D., Wright J. F. and Furse M. T. (1983). The performance of a new biological water quality score system based on macroinvertebrates over a wide range of unpolluted running water sites. Water Research 17: 333–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Biesiadka E. and Tabaka K. (1990). Investigations on water bugs (Heteroptera) of Szczytno Lakes. Fragmenta Faunistica 33: 45–69Google Scholar
  7. Biro J. (2003). Temporal-spatial pattern of true bug assemblages (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha, Nepomorpha) in Lake Balaton. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 1: 173–181Google Scholar
  8. Borcard D., Legendre P. and Drapeau P. (1992). Partialling out the spatial component of ecological variation. Ecology 73: 1045–1055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown E. S. (1948). A contribution towards an ecological survey of the aquatic and semi-aquatic Hemiptera–Heteroptera (water bugs) of the British Isles; dealing chiefly with the Scottish Highlands and East and South England. Transactions of the Society for British Entomology 9: 151–195Google Scholar
  10. Drosopoulos S. (1980). Hemipterological studies in Greece. Part 1 – Heteroptera. A catalogue of the reported species. Biologia Gallo-Hellenica 9: 163–185Google Scholar
  11. Eyre M. D. and Foster G. N. (1989). A comparison of aquatic Heteroptera and Coleoptera communities as a basis for environmental and conservation assessments in static water sites. Journal of Applied Entomology 108: 355–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Garcia-Aviles J., Puig M. A. and Soler A. G. (1996). Distribution and association of the aquatic Heteroptera of the Balearic Islands (Spain). Hydrobiologia 324: 209–217Google Scholar
  13. Hill M. O. (1979). DECORANA – A FORTRAN Program for Detrended Correspondence Analysis and Reciprocol Averaging. Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Hufnagel L., Bakonyi G. and Vásárhelyi T. (1999). New approach for habitat characterization based on species lists of aquatic and semi-aquatic bugs. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 58: 305–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hutchinson, G. E., 1993. A Treatise on Limnology: Vol. 4. The Zoobenthos. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Illies J. (1978). Limnofauna Europaea. A Checklist of the Animals Inhabiting European Inland Waters, with Accounts of their Distribution and Ecology. Gustav Fisher Verlag, Stuttgart Google Scholar
  17. Jansson A. (1977). Distribution of Micronectae (Heteroptera, Corixidae) in Lake Päijänne, central Finland: correlation with eutrophication and pollution. Annales Zoologici Fennici 14: 118–124Google Scholar
  18. Jansson A. (1987). Micronectinae (Heteroptera, Corixidae) as indicators of water quality in Lakes Vesijarvi, southern Finland, during the period 1976–1986. Biological Research Reports of the University of Jyväskylä 10: 119–128Google Scholar
  19. Josifov M. (1959). Hemiptera–Heteroptera from the Island of Thasos. Bulgarian Academy of Science. Biology 8: 265–269Google Scholar
  20. Kurzatkowska A. (1993). Investigations on the developmental biology of Notonecta reuteri Hung. and Notonecta glauca L. (Heteroptera). Acta Hydrobiologia 35: 41–48Google Scholar
  21. Macan T. T. (1938). Evolution of aquatic habitats with special reference to the distribution of Corixidae. Journal of Animal Ecology 7: 1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Macan, T. T., 1939. A key to the British species of Corixidae (Hemiptera – Heteroptera) with notes on their distribution. Scientific Publications of the Freshwater Biological Association No 1Google Scholar
  23. Macan T. T. (1954). A contribution to the study of the ecology of Corixidae (Hemiptera). Journal of Animal Ecology 23: 115–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Magnien P. (2000). Observations and interesting capture of Heteroptera. New species for France and Greece (Heteroptera: Corixidae, Nabidae, Tingidae, Lygaeidae, Miridae, Cydnidae). Nouvelle Revue D’Entomologie 6: 284–287Google Scholar
  25. McCafferty W. (1981). Aquatic Entomology. Science Books International, Inc, Boston Google Scholar
  26. Moreno J. L., Millán A., Suárez M. L., Vidal-Abarca M. R. and Velasco J. (1997). Aquatic Coleoptera and Heteroptera assemblages in waterbodies from ephemeral coastal streams (“ramblas”) of south-eastern Spain. Archives fur Hydrobiologie 141: 93–107Google Scholar
  27. Papacek M. (2001). Small aquatic and ripicolous bugs (Heteroptera: Nepomorpha) as predators and prey: the question of economic importance. European Journal of Entomology 98: 1–12Google Scholar
  28. Petrakis P. V. and Roussis V. (2001). Bioindication value of Hellenic aquatic Heteroptera: an algorithmic approach. Proceedings of the 10th Pan-Hellenic Congress of Ichthyologists, Chania, Greece,, 301–304Google Scholar
  29. Popham E. J. (1949). A contribution towards an ecological survey of the aquatic and semi-aquatic Hemiptera–Heteroptera (water bugs) of the British Isles. The Ribble Valley (Lancashire South and Mid). Transactions of the Society for British Entomology 10: 1–44Google Scholar
  30. Popham E. J. (1950). Water bugs (Hemiptera–Heteroptera) of North Surrey. Journal of the Society for British Entomology 3: 158–173Google Scholar
  31. Popham E. J. (1964). The migration of aquatic bugs with special reference to Corixidae (Hemiptera, Heteroptera). Archives fur Hydrobiologie 50: 450–496Google Scholar
  32. Qinghong L. (1997). Variation partitioning by partial redundancy analysis (RDA). Environmetrics 8: 75–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sandin L. and Johnson R. K. (2004). Local, landscape and regional factors structuring benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in Swedish streams. Landscape Ecology 19: 501–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Savage A. A. (1982). Use of water boatmen (Corixidae) in the classification of lakes. Biological Conservation 23: 55–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Savage, A. A., 1989. Adults of the British aquatic Hemiptera: key with ecological notes. FBA Scientific Publication 50Google Scholar
  36. Savage A. A. (1990). The distribution of Corixidae in lakes and the ecological status of the North West Midland Meres. Field Studies 7: 516–530Google Scholar
  37. Savage A. A. (1994a). The distribution of Corixidae in relation to the water quality of British lakes: a monitoring model. Freshwater Forum 4: 32–61Google Scholar
  38. Savage A. A. (1994b). Corixidae and water quality. Freshwater Forum 4: 214–216Google Scholar
  39. Skoulikidis N., Amaxidis Y., Bertahas I., Laschou S. and Gritzalis K. (2006). Analysis of factors driving stream water composition and synthesis of management tools – a case study on small/medium Greek catchments. The Science of the Total Environment 362: 205–241PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sládecek V. and Sládecková A. (1994). Corixidae as indicators of organic pollution. Freshwater Forum 4: 211–213Google Scholar
  41. Svensson B. G., Tallmark B. and Petersson E. (2000). Habitat heterogeneity, coexistence and habitat utilization in five backswimmer species (Notonecta spp.; Hemiptera, Notonectidae). Aquatic Insects 22: 81–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tamanini, L., 1979. Guide per il riconoscimento delle specie animali delle acque interne I-taliane. Eterotteri acquatici (Heteroptera: Gerromorpha, Nepomorpha). No 6. Consiglio Nazionale delle RicercheGoogle Scholar
  43. (1986). Canonical correspondence analysis: a new eigenvector technique for multivariate direct gradient analysis. Ecology 67: 1167–1179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Prentice C. (1988). A theory of gradient analysis. Advances in Ecological Research 18: 271–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Smilauer P. (2002). CANOCO, Software for Canonical Community Ordination (ver. 4.05). Centre for Biometry, Wageningen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  46. Vannote R. L., Minshall G. W., Cummins K. W., Sedell J. R. and Cushing C. E. (1980). The river continuum concept. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 37: 130–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wollmann K. (2000). Corixidae (Hemiptera, Heteroptera) in acidic mining lakes with pH 3 in Lusatia, Germany. Hydrobiologia 433: 181–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hellenic Centre for Marine ResearchInstitute of Inland WatersAnavissosGreece

Personalised recommendations