Habitat preferences as patch selection of larval and emerging chironomids (Diptera) in a gravel brook

Abstract

Four common species of larval and emerging chironomids were investigated during 1981 and between 1984/1985 in an alpine gravel brook. The emergence patterns ofN. dubius, O. rivulorum andH. ornaticollis were significantly affected by fluctuations of the water level, while rises in water temperature tended to trigger the peaks in emergence of the same species and ofO. frigidus. N. dubius exhibited its main emergence activity over areas of bed sediment which had a lower mean water velocity or were discontinuously flooded. On the other hand, the imagines ofO. frigidus, O. rivulorum andH. ornaticollis reached peak densities in zones of the main current channel in the Seebach. The larvae of these species inhabited horizontally and vertically different areas of bed sediment depending on the developmental stage. Early instars ofN. dubius andH. ornaticollis preferred zones near the banks and reached their maximum densities in sediment depths of 10 to 20 cm and 20 to 30 cm, respectively. In contrast, the larvae ofO. frigidus andO. rivulorum reached their highest densities in the first 10 cm of the sediments with significant preferences for the zones of stronger water flow.

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Schmid, P.E. Habitat preferences as patch selection of larval and emerging chironomids (Diptera) in a gravel brook. Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology 26, 419–429 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02255271

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Keywords

  • running waters
  • population dynamics
  • chironomids
  • distribution
  • patches