Spatial distribution of bivalves in relation to environmental conditions (middle Danube catchment, Hungary)


The spatial distribution of bivalves in relation to environmental conditions was studied along a second- and third order stream ‒ medium-sized river (River Ipoly) ‒ large river (River Danube) continuum in the Hungarian Danube River system. Quantitative samples were collected four times in 2007 and a total of 1662 specimens, belonging to 22 bivalve species were identified. Among these species, two are endangered (Pseudanodonta complanata, Unio crassus) and five are invasive (Dreis-sena polymorpha, D. rostriformis bugensis, Corbicula fluminea, C. fluminalis, Anodonta woodiana) in Hungary. The higher density presented by Pisidium subtruncatum, P. supinum, P. henslowanum and C. fluminea suggests that these species may have a key role in this ecosystem. Three different faunal groups were distinguished but no significant temporal change was detected. The lowest density and diversity with two species (P. casertanum and P. personatum) occurred in streams. The highest density and diversity was found in the River Ipoly, in the side arms of the Danube and in the main arm of the Danube with sand and silt substrate, being dominated by P. subtruncatum and P. henslowanum. Moderate density and species richness were observed in the main arm of the Danube with pebble and stone substrate, being dominated by C. fluminea and S. rivicola. Ten environmental variables were found to have significant influence on the distribution of bivalves, the strongest explanatory factors being substrate types, current velocity and sedimentological characteristics.



Principal Components Analysis


Canonical Correspondence Analysis


total benthic organic matter


benthic organic matter content in coarse fraction of sediment


benthic organic matter content in fine fraction of sediment


benthic organic matter content in very fine fraction of sediment


benthic organic matter content in ultra fine fraction of sediment


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Bódis, E., Nosek, J., Oertel, N. et al. Spatial distribution of bivalves in relation to environmental conditions (middle Danube catchment, Hungary). COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 12, 210–219 (2011).

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  • Bivalves
  • Invasive species
  • River Danube
  • River Ipoly
  • Spatial pattern


  • Checklist of the European Continental Mollusca (Falkner et al. 2001) and the catalogue of Fehér and Gubányi (2001) reflecting the Hungarian situation