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Low species richness of non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae) in Neotropical artificial urban water bodies


Chironomid assemblages of 22 artificial water bodies, mainly fountains, in two South American cities were surveyed. We found surprisingly low diversities, with a total of 11 taxa, averaging two taxa per site. The typical fountain assemblages mainly consisted of common species that have a wide distribution pattern and are tolerant to organic pollution. Also taxa independent of the natural aquatic sources, such as tap-water and semi-terrestrial species were represented. There was no significant difference between the taxa richness of the two S. American regions, however, the assemblage structures of the water bodies of Quito and Bogotá differed significantly. There was no correlation between sample similarities and distances among the sites either. The low number of taxa recorded can be attributed to the combination of naturally limited species pool and the heavy pollution in natural water bodies as colonization sources.

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We wish to thank to Laura and Paula de Paiva for sampling assistance. We are also grateful for the field assistance from Signe M. Vie and Jesper Kuhn, as well as Heather Mariash for proof reading and helpful notes. This work was funded by Dean Jacobsen’s Biodiversity grant 2008 from the WWF-Novozymes.

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Correspondence to Ladislav Hamerlík.

Appendix 1

Appendix 1

Table 2

Table 2 List of sampling sites including their codes and geographical parameters

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Hamerlík, L., Jacobsen, D. & Brodersen, K.P. Low species richness of non-biting midges (Diptera: Chironomidae) in Neotropical artificial urban water bodies. Urban Ecosyst 14, 457–468 (2011).

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  • Chironomidae
  • Urban ecology
  • Artificial water bodies
  • Colonization
  • Ecuador
  • Colombia