, Volume 716, Issue 1, pp 75–85 | Cite as

Seasonal changes in caddis larvae assemblages in river-floodplain habitats along a hydrological connectivity gradient

  • Fred W. B. Van den BrinkEmail author
  • Gerard Van der Velde
  • Sander Wijnhoven
Primary Research Paper


In order to assess the impact of seasonality versus connectivity on the ecological quality of the Lower Rhine river-floodplain habitats, we studied the seasonal variation in diversity and species assemblages of caddis larvae by monthly sampling of the littoral zone of four water bodies over a lateral connectivity gradient. Seasonal variation in diversity showed a general pattern in these floodplain habitats and could be related to caddisfly life history and habitat preferences. Despite this seasonal variation, caddis larvae species assemblages in the water bodies appeared to be rather stable and could be firmly related to the position of their habitats over the connectivity gradient. The main channel (lotic habitat) was clearly separated from the lentic water bodies, and also the sparsely vegetated water bodies from the well-vegetated water bodies. It is concluded that the impact of connectivity, and related parameters such as stream velocity and vegetation coverage, outweighed the impact of season on the caddis larvae assemblages.


Biodiversity Seasonality Trichoptera Connectivity gradient Wetlands Lower Rhine 



This study was financially supported by the Dutch Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment, Rijkswaterstaat/RIZA, Lelystad, The Netherlands, and the Sandoz Rheinfund, Basel, Switzerland. Rijkswaterstaat/RIZA, Arnhem, provided hydrological data and detailed river maps. Dr. L.W.G. Higler checked the identification of the Limnephilidae larvae. This is Monitor Taskforce Publication Series 2013-04.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred W. B. Van den Brink
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerard Van der Velde
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sander Wijnhoven
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Water and Nature ManagementProvince of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Animal Ecology and Ecophysiology, Institute for Water and Wetland ResearchRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Naturalis Biodiversity CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchNIOZ—Yerseke, Monitor TaskforceYersekeThe Netherlands

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