, Volume 794, Issue 1, pp 273–285 | Cite as

Chironomidae of the Holarctic region: a comparison of ecological and functional traits between North America and Europe

  • Sónia R. Q. Serra
  • Manuel A. S. Graça
  • Sylvain Dolédec
  • Maria João Feio
Primary Research Paper


Chironomidae (Diptera) are widespread, abundant, diverse and ubiquitous, and include genera and species that are distributed across the Holarctic region. However, the geographical barriers between continents should have resulted in intraspecific population differentiation with reflection on individual biological and ecological traits. Our aim was to test for potential differences in Chironomidae species/genus and traits between the Nearctic and Palearctic regions. We compared the Chironomidae trait information gathered in two databases; one database was developed in Europe and the other in North America. Common genera and species of both databases were selected, and the common traits were adjusted into the same trait categories. Data were transformed into presence/absence and divided into Eltonian (biological/functional) and Grinnellian (ecological) traits. Common genera and common species were analyzed using Fuzzy correspondence analysis (FCA). Differences between databases occur for all trait domains. Yet, Eltonian traits showed lower level of concordance than Grinnellian traits at the species level. Different biological characteristics in the Nearctic and Palearctic regions may indicate that Chironomidae have different adaptions to similar ecological environments due to intraspecific variability or even trait plasticity.


Diptera Eltonian traits Grinnellian traits Palearctic Nearctic Regional traits 



This study was possible through the strategic project UID/MAR/04292/2013 granted to MARE, also through a PhD scholarship (SFRH/BD/80188/2011); both funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). The research benefited from the cotutelage between the University of Coimbra and the University of Lyon 1, and the cooperation between the MARE, University of Coimbra, Portugal, and the LEHNA – Laboratoire d’Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés, University of Lyon, France.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 62 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sónia R. Q. Serra
    • 1
  • Manuel A. S. Graça
    • 1
  • Sylvain Dolédec
    • 2
  • Maria João Feio
    • 1
  1. 1.MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.University Lyon 1, UMR 5023 LEHNA, Biodiversité et Plasticité dans les Hydrosystèmes, Bât ForelVilleurbanne CedexFrance

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