Alderfly assemblages (Megaloptera, Sialidae) along an oligotrophic karst hydrosystem: spatial patterns and species-environment relationship

Abstract

Even though alderflies, as well as many other aquatic macroinvertebrates, are widely used as indicators of freshwater quality, the knowledge of their distribution, biology and ecology in karst freshwater habitats is still very scarce. Aiming to fill this gap, we investigated alderfly assemblages along an oligotrophic karst hydrosystem. Sampling was carried out on a monthly basis over a one-year period (2007/2008) in different types of freshwater habitats and microhabitats. Our goals were to determine population aspects, habitat and microhabitat preferences of alderflies as well as their relation to environmental factors. Due to the specificity of karst freshwater habitats, alderflies were rather rare in the studied hydrosystem. Yet, their fauna was diverse with four identified species, where Sialis fuliginosa Pictet, 1836 was the most widespread one. Sialis sordida (Klingstedt, 1932) was recorded for the first time in the Balkan Peninsula being the rarest species in our study. Substrate type and water velocity showed as key environmental parameters in determining alderfly assemblages. Alderflies were mostly recorded from a canyon type mountainous stream, and silt with leaf litter, respectively. They were not recorded at sites characterized by predominately solid stones (i.e. cobbles) and mosses, and with intermittent water flow. Our results strongly indicate that alderflies could be used in future conservation and protection management procedures in karst freshwater habitats.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Alam MS, Hoque MM, Bari MF, Badruzzaman AB, Huber T, Fliedl B (2008) Aquatic macroinvertebrates as bio-indicators: A new approach for river water quality assessment in Bangladesh, In: Moog O, Hering D, Sharma S, Stubauer I, Korte T (eds), Proceedings of the Scientific Conference “Rivers in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya – Ecology & Environmental Assessment, ASSESS-HKH, pp 131–136

  2. Allan JD, Castillo MM (2007) Stream ecology: structure and function of running waters. Springer, Dordrecht

    Google Scholar 

  3. Aspöck U (2002) Megaloptera. - Teil III. In: Moog O (ed), Fauna Aquatica Austriaca, Lieferung 2002, Wasserwirtschaftskataster, Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft, Wien, pp 1–4

  4. Aspöck H, Aspöck U, Hölzel H (1980) Die Neuropteren Europas. Eine zusammenfassende Darstellung der Systematik, Ökologie und Chorologie der Neuropteroidea (Megaloptera, Raphidioptera, Planipennia) Europas. Goecke and Evers, Krefeld, Germany

  5. Bonacci O (2009) Karst landscape Ecohydrology. In: Popovska C, Jovanovski M (eds), Proceedings of eleventh international symposium on water management and hydraulic engineering, WMHE2009, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Skopje, pp 781–790

  6. Bonacci O, Željković I, Galić A (2013) Karst rivers’ particularity: an example from Dinaric karst (Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina). Environ Earth Sci 70:963–974. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-012-2187-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) PRIMER V6: User Manual / Tutorial. Primer-E, Plymouth

    Google Scholar 

  8. Cover M, Bogan M (2015) Minor insect orders. In: Thorp JH, Rogers DC (eds), Ecology and general biology, thorp and Covich's Freshwater Invertebrates, Fourth Edition, Elsevier Inc, pp. 1059–1072. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385026-3.00041-3

  9. Cover MR, Resh VH (2008) Global diversity of dobsonflies, fishflies, and alderflies (Megaloptera: Insecta) and spongillaflies, nevrorthids, and osmylids (Neuroptera: Insecta) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:409–417. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-007-9035-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Devetak D (1984) Megaloptera, Raphidioptera and Planipennia in Slovenia (Yugoslavia). Faunistical contribution. Neuroptera Int 3(2):55–72

    Google Scholar 

  11. Devetak D (1992) Present knowledge of the Megaloptera, Raphidioptera and Neuroptera of Yugoslavia (Insecta: Neuropteroidea). In: Canard M, Aspöck H, Mansell MW (eds), Current research in Neuropterology, Tuolouse, pp 107–118

  12. Devetak D, Slavevska-Stamenković V, Sivec I (2016) Alderflies (Insecta: Megaloptera: Sialidae) from Serbia and Macedonia, with notes on their occurrence in the Neighbouring Balkan countries. Acta Zool Bulgar 68(1):39–42

    Google Scholar 

  13. Duplić A, Gambiroža P, Kutleša P, Opačić B, Ribatrić A (2015) Priroda Hrvatske, Riznica za bolju budućnost. Državni zavod za zaštitu prirode, Zagreb (In Croatian)

  14. Elliott JM (1995) The effect of temperature on egg hatching for three populations of Sialis lutaria (L.) and two populations of Sialis fuliginosa Pictet (Megaloptera: Sialidae). Entomol Gaz 46:155–159

    Google Scholar 

  15. Elliott JM (1996) British freshwater Megaloptera and Neuroptera. A key with ecological notes. FBA Scientific Publication 54, Ambleside, UK

  16. Florescu HM, Cîmpean M, Momeu L, Leonte L, Bodea D, Battes KP (2015) Ecological analyses on benthic diatom and invertebrate communities from the Someșul mic catchment area (Transylvania, Romania). Studia UBB Biologia 60(1):69–87

    Google Scholar 

  17. Gabriels W, Lock K, De Pauw N, Goethals PL (2010) Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index Flanders (MMIF) for biological assessment of rivers and lakes in Flanders (Belgium). Limnologica 40(3):199–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2009.10.001

  18. Giller PS, Malmqvist B (1998) The biology of streams and rivers. Oxford University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  19. Girgin S, Kazanci N, Dügel M (2003) Ordination and classification of macroinvertebrates and environmental data of a stream in Turkey. Water Sci Technol 47(9):133–139

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Gligora Udovič M, Cvetkoska A, Žutinić P, Bosak S, Stanković I, Špoljarić I, Mršić G, Kralj Borojević K, Ćukurin A, Plenković-Moraj A (2017) Defining centric diatoms of most relevant phytoplankton functional groups in deep karst lakes. Hydrobiologia 788(1):169–191. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-016-2996-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Grimaldi D, Engel MS (2005) Evolution of the insects. Cambridge University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  22. Hildrew AG, Townsend CG (1976) The distribution of two predators and their prey in an iron-rich stream. J Anim Ecol 45:41–57. https://doi.org/10.2307/3766

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hilsenhoff WL (1987) An improved biotic index of organic stream pollution. Great Lakes Entomol 20:31–39

  24. Hölzer H (2002) Insecta: Megaloptera. In: Hölzer H, Weissmair W, Speidel W (eds), Insecta: Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Lepidoptera. Süsswasserfauna von Mitteleuropa 15,16,18, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Berlin, pp.1–26

  25. IUCN (1979) IUCN Review. World Heritage Nomination, Lake Plitvice National Park

    Google Scholar 

  26. IUCN (2017) World Heritage Outlook. http://www.worldheritageoutlook.iucn.org/explore-sites/wdpaid/2016

  27. Iversen TM, Thorup J (1987) Population dynamics and production of Sialis lutaria, L. (Megaloptera) in the Danish river Suså. Freshw Biol 17:461–469. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.1987.tb01067.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Ivković M, Plant A (2015) Aquatic insects in the Dinarides: identifying hotspots of endemism and species richness shaped by geological and hydrological history using Empididae (Diptera). Insect Conserv Diver. https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12113

  29. Ivković M, Weißmair W (2011) Faunistics and distribution of aquatic Neuroptera in Croatia. Nat Croat 20(2):449–454

    Google Scholar 

  30. Ivković M, Mičetić Stanković V, Mihaljević Z (2012) Emergence patterns and microhabitat preference of aquatic dance flies (Empididae; Clinocerinae and Hemerodromiinae) on a longitudinal gradient of barrage lake system. Limnologica 42:43–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2011.07.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Ivković M, Kesić M, Mihaljević Z, Kúdela M (2013) Emergence patterns and ecological associations of some haematophagous blackfly species along an oligotrophic hydrosystem. Med Vet Entomol 28:94–102. https://doi.org/10.1111/mve.12019

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Ivković M, Miliša M, Baranov V, Mihaljević Z (2015) Environmental drivers of biotic traits and phenology patterns of Diptera assemblages in karst springs: the role of canopy uncovered. Limnologica 54:44–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2015.09.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Jáimez-Cuéllar P, Vivas S, Bonada N, Robles S, Mellado A, Álvarez M, Avilés J, Casas J, Ortega M, Pardo I, Prat N, Rieradevall M, Sáinz-Cantero CE, Sánchez-Ortega A, Suárez ML, Toro M, Vidal-Abarca MR, Zamora-Muñoz C, Alba-Tercedor J (2002) Protocolo GUADALMED (PRECE). Limnetica 21(3-4):187-204

  34. Krulik I (1982) Biomasa zoobentosa u rijekama Mirni i Raši (biomass of zoobenthos of the rivers Mirna and Raša). Poljoprivreda i šumarstvo 28(2):105–117 (In Croatian)

    Google Scholar 

  35. Kučinić M, Previšić A, Gottstein A, Hrašovec B, Stanić-Koštroman S, Pernek M, Delić A (2008) Description of the larvae of Drusus radovanovici septentrionis Marinković-Gospodnetić, 1976 and Drusus croaticus Marinković-Gospodnetić, 1971 (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae) from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Zootaxa 1783:1–17

    Google Scholar 

  36. Kučinić M, Previšić A, Vajdić M, Tunjić M, Mihoci I, Žalac S, Sviben S, Vučković I, Trupković M, Habdija M (2017) First systematic investigation of adults and second checklist of caddisflies (Insecta, Trichoptera) of the Plitvice Lakes National Park with notes on research history, biodiversity, distribution and ecology. Nat Croat 26(2):225–260

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Lampert W, Sommer U (1997) Limnoecology: the ecology of lakes and streams. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  38. Lenat DR (1993) A biotic index for the southeastern United States: derivation and list of tolerance values, with criteria for assigning water-quality ratings. J N Amer Benthol Soc 12(3):279–290

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Matoničkin I (1987) Građa za limnofaunu krških voda tekućica Hrvatske. Biosistematika 13(1):25–35 (In Croatian)

    Google Scholar 

  40. Matoničkin I, Pavletić Z (1967) Hidrologija potočnog sistema Plitvičkih jezera i njegove ekološko-biocenološke značajke. Krš Jugoslavije, JAZU, Zagreb 5:83–126 (In Croatian)

    Google Scholar 

  41. Matoničkin I, Pavletić Z, Tavčar V, Krkač N (1971) Limnološka istraživanja reikotopa i fenomena protočne travertinizacije u Plitvičkim jezerima. The limnological investigations of reicotops and phenomenon of current travertinisation in Plitvička jezera (Plitvice Lakes, Yugoslavia). Acta Biol 7(1):1–87

    Google Scholar 

  42. Meinander M (1996) Megaloptera - Sialidae – Alderflies. In: Nilsson AN (ed) Aquatic insects of North Europe. A taxonomy handbook Vol. 1. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, pp 105–110

    Google Scholar 

  43. Mičetić Stanković V, Jäch MA, Kučinić M (2015) Annotated checklist of Croatian riffle beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera: Elmidae). Nat Croat 24(1):93–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Miliša M, Habdija I, Primc-Habdija B, Radanović I, Matoničkin Kepčija R (2006) The role of flow velocity in the vertical distribution of particulate organic matter on moss-covered travertine barriers of the Plitvice Lakes (Croatia). Hydrobiologia 553:231–243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-005-1220-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Minshall GW (1984) Aquatic insect - substratum relationship. In: Resh VH, Rosenberg DM (eds) The Ecology of Aquatic Insects. Praeger Scientific, New York, pp 358–400

    Google Scholar 

  46. Mol AWM (1982) Sialis nigripes Pictet in Nederland (Megaloptera: Sialidae). Entomol Ber 42:177–179

    Google Scholar 

  47. Monserrat VJ (2014) Los megalópteros de la Península Ibérica (Insecta, Neuropterida, Megaloptera, Sialidae). Graellsia 70(2):1–24. https://doi.org/10.3989/graellsia.2014.v70.111

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Moog O (2002) Fauna Aquatica Austriaca. Edition 2002. Wassserwirtschaftskataster, Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft, Vienna

  49. New TR, Theischinger G (1993) Megaloptera (Alderflies, Dobsonflies). Handbuch der Zoologie 4 (33). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin

  50. Petrik M (1961) Temperatura i kisik Plitvičkih jezera. JAZU, Zagreb: 1–37 (In Croatian)

  51. Popijač A, Sivec I (2009) Diversity and distribution of stoneflies in the area of Plitvice Lakes National Park and along the Mediterranean river Cetina (Croatia). Aquat Insects 31(1):731–742. https://doi.org/10.1080/01650420902745521

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Previšić A, Kerovec M, Kučinić M (2007) Emergence and composition of Trichoptera from karst habitats, Plitvice Lakes region, Croatia. Int Rev Hydrobiol 92(1):61–83. https://doi.org/10.1002/iroh.200510921

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Previšić A, Schnitzler J, Kučinić M, Graf W, Ibrahimi H, Kerovec M, Pauls SU (2014) Microscale vicariance and diversification of western Balkan caddisflies linked to karstification. Freshw Sci 33:250–262. https://doi.org/10.1086/674430

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Srdoč D (1985) Procesi taloženja kalcita u krškim vodama s posebnim osvrtom na Plitvička jezera. Krš Jugoslavije 11:4–6 (In Croatian)

    Google Scholar 

  55. Srdoč D, Horvatinčić N, Obelić B, Krajcar I, Sliepičević A (1985) Procesi taloženja kalcita u krškim vodama sposebnim osvrtom na Plitvička jezera. Carsus Iugoslaviae 11:101−204 (In Croatian)

  56. StatSoft Inc. (1997) STATISTICA user's guide ver. 5. StatSoft Inc. Polish ed. by StatSoft Polska, Kraków

  57. Stilinović B, Božičević S (1998) The Plitvice Lakes – a natural phenomenon in the middle of the Dinaric karst in Croatia. Eur Water Manag 1(5):15–24

    Google Scholar 

  58. Šegota T, Filipčić A (2003) Köppenova podjela klima i hrvatsko nazivlje. Geoadria 8(1):17–23 (In Croatian)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Šemnički P, Previšić A, Ivković M, Čmrlec K, Mihaljević Z (2012) Tufa barriers from a caddisfly's point of view: streams or Lake outlets? Int Rev Hydrobiol 97(6):465–484. https://doi.org/10.1002/iroh.201101500

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Špoljar M (2013) Microaquatic communities as indicator of environmental changes in lake ecosystems. J Eng Res 1:29–42

    Google Scholar 

  61. Špoljar M, Primc-Habdija B, Habdija I (2007) Transport of seston in the karstic hydrosystem of the Plitvice Lakes (Croatia). Hydrobiologia 579:199–209. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-006-0409-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Ter Braak CJF, Šmilauer P (1998) Canoco for windows: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.02). Centre for Biometry Wageningen, CPRODLO, Wageningen, The Netherlands

  63. Tierno de Figueroa JM, Palomino Morales JA (2002) Adult biology of Sialis nigripes Pictet, 1865 (Megaloptera, Sialidae). Bol Asoc Esp Entomol 26(1–2):59–67

    Google Scholar 

  64. Vannote RR, Minshall GW, Cummins KW, Sedell JR, Cushing CE (1980) The river continuum concept. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 37:30–137

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Vilenica M, Brigić A, Sartori M, Mihaljević Z (2018) Microhabitat selection and distribution of functional feeding groups of mayfly larvae (Ephemeroptera) in lotic karst habitats. Knowl Manag Aquat Ecosyst 419(17):1–12. https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2018011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Vilenica M, Mičetić Stanković V, Sartori M, Kučinić M, Mihaljević Z (2017) Environmental factors affecting mayfly assemblages in tufa-depositing habitats of the Dinaric karst. Knowl Manag Aquat Ecosyst 418(14):1–12. https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2017005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Vilenica M, Previšić A, Ivković M, Popijač A, Vučković I, Kučinić M, Kerovec M, Gattolliat J-L, Sartori M, Mihaljević Z (2016) Mayfly (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) assemblages of a regulated perennial Mediterranean river system in the western Balkans. Biologia 71(9):1038–1048. https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Vshivkova TS (1985) Sialidae (Megaloptera) of Europe and the Caucasus. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 64:146–157

    Google Scholar 

  69. Wentworth CK (1922) A scale of grade and class terms for clastic sediments. J Geol 30:377–392

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Woodward G, Ebenman B, Emmerson M, Montoya JM, Olesen JM, Valido A, Warren PH (2005) Body-size in ecological networks. Trends Ecol Evol 20:402–409. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2005.04.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Zamora-Muñoz C, Tierno de Figueroa JM, Alba-Tercedor J (1999) Factores relacionados con la distribución de Sialis nigripes Pictet, 1865 (Megaloptera, Sialidae) en la cuenca alta del río Genil (Sur de España). Zool Baetica 10:193–202

Download references

Acknowledgments

This study in Plitvice Lakes NP was conducted with permission from the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia (RN: 532-08-02-1/7-06-3; 532-08-02-1/7-06-3). The study is a result of projects No. 119-1193080-1206 (PL: Mladen Kučinić) and No. 119-1193080-3076 (PL: Mladen Kerovec) supported by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and University of Zagreb. The authors would like to thank Prof. dr. Mladen Kerovec for his financial support. Assoc. Prof. dr. Petar Kružić, Dr. Igor Stanković, Dr. Sanja Sviben, Andreja Komljenović, Martina Krbavčić, Sanja Žalac, Bruno Polak and Matija Šimac are thanked for their indispensable assistance during the field investigations. Many thanks are due to Mr. Ivančica Krulik, Mirjana Jelenčić and Dr. Sanja Sviben for help with sorting the collected material. We thank Miran Katar for helping us with the artwork. Many thanks to the University of Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes NP staff. Finally, we would like to thank the reviewers for their useful suggestions that markedly improved the manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marina Vilenica.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Vilenica, M., Mičetić Stanković, V., Mihaljević, Z. et al. Alderfly assemblages (Megaloptera, Sialidae) along an oligotrophic karst hydrosystem: spatial patterns and species-environment relationship. Biologia 73, 493–503 (2018). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-018-0056-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sialis
  • New records
  • Karst
  • Environmental factors
  • Microhabitats