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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 723, Issue 1, pp 41–52 | Cite as

Local, among-site, and regional diversity patterns of benthic macroinvertebrates in high altitude waterbodies: do ponds differ from lakes?

  • Ladislav Hamerlík
  • Marek Svitok
  • Milan Novikmec
  • Miroslav Očadlík
  • Peter Bitušík
THE ROLE OF PONDS

Abstract

In this study we aimed at comparing invertebrate diversity of high altitude lakes and ponds along hierarchical spatial scales. We compared local, among-site, and regional diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates in 25 ponds and 34 lakes in the Tatra Mountains, central Europe. The ponds showed significantly lower local diversity, higher among-site diversity and similar regional diversity than the lakes. The species–area relationships (SAR), habitat heterogeneity, and environmental harshness are assumed as drivers for the local diversity patterns. An ecological threshold separating pond and lake systems emerged at an area of 2 ha, where the SAR pattern changed significantly. Differences in species turnover between these systems were likely driven by greater environmental variability and isolation of the ponds. High altitude ponds neither significantly support greater regional diversity nor higher number of unique taxa than lakes. The higher among-site diversity of ponds relative to lakes highlights the relevance of ponds for regional diversity in mountain areas.

Keywords

Zoobenthos Small waterbodies Alpha diversity Beta diversity Gamma diversity Tatra Mountains 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank our colleagues and students participating in field sampling and laboratory processing. This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No. APVV-0059-11. This study was also partially funded by the Slovak Scientific Grant Agency (VEGA, projects No. 1/0180/12 and 2/0081/13). We acknowledge the language correction and helpful notes by Heather Mariash. Last, we are grateful to Prof. Beat Oertli and to two anonymous reviewers whose comments to the previous versions of the manuscript considerably improved the paper.

Supplementary material

10750_2013_1621_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (186 kb)
Supplementary material (PDF 186 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ladislav Hamerlík
    • 1
  • Marek Svitok
    • 2
  • Milan Novikmec
    • 2
  • Miroslav Očadlík
    • 2
  • Peter Bitušík
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceMatthias Belius UniversityBanská BystricaSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of Biology and General EcologyTechnical University in ZvolenZvolenSlovakia

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