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Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 8, Issue 9, pp 1179–1204 | Cite as

Effects of management works on the interstitial fauna of floodplain aquatic systems (River Rhône, France)

  • Cecile Claret
  • Pierre Marmonier
  • Marie-Jose Dole-Olivier
  • Emmanuel Castella
Article

Abstract

Long-term changes in composition, structure and biodiversity (i.e. taxonomic richness, diversity index, species traits and habitat-affinity) of interstitial assemblages were studied in two floodplain systems: a restored backwater and an artificial drainage canal. Before restoration, the backwater, affected by both terrestrialisation and eutrophication, was weakly populated by a low diversified fauna dominated by walkers, macrofauna, detritivores, and stygoxenes (i.e. taxa that occur incidentally in ground waters) that reproduce biparentally and lack parental care. This backwater displayed an upstream–downstream gradient in response to restoration works. Upstream, the dredging of fine organic sediments favoured inputs of nutrient-poor groundwater and exchanges between groundwater and surface water that induced an increase in taxonomic richness (in both herbivores and stygoxenes). Downstream the deposition of fine sediment that was suspended in the water column by restoration work enhanced colmation that induced a decrease in herbivore and swimming taxa, and an increase in mesofaunal taxa, whilst phreatobites (i.e. taxa specialized to interstitial life) remained absent from the system. The drainage canal that was artificially hollowed-out to lower the surrounding water table, harbors mixed assemblages of epigean (i.e. taxa of surface-water habitats) and hypogean (i.e. taxa of groundwater habitats) taxa. The upstream part, which is weakly influenced by surface waters, was colonized by phreatobites as oligotrophic conditions increased. The intermediate part, which is fed by surface water and where mesotrophic conditions occurred as habitats progressively matured and diversified, showed diversification of its fauna. The downstream part of the drainage canal displayed the reverse dynamic – this suggests a reduction in groundwater supply due to the clogging of sediment interstices fine sediments, the deposition of which is linked to the Rossillon backwater restoration works.

backwater biodiversity groundwater fauna management 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecile Claret
    • 1
  • Pierre Marmonier
    • 1
  • Marie-Jose Dole-Olivier
    • 2
  • Emmanuel Castella
    • 3
  1. 1.GRETI (and ESA-CNRS no 5023)Université de SavoieLe Bourget du LacFrance
  2. 2.ESA-CNRS no 5023 – “Ecologie des Eaux douces et des Grands Fleuves”, Laboratoire dHydrobiologie et Ecologie SouterrainesUniversité Claude-Bernard-Lyon IVilleurbanne CedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire d'Ecologie et de Biologie AquatiquesUniversité de GenèveGenèveSwitzerland

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