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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access February 4, 2015

Influence of selected environmental factors on macroinvertebrates in mountain streams

Iga Lewin , Krzysztof Szoszkiewicz , Szymon Jusik and Agnieszka E. Ławniczak
From the journal Open Life Sciences

Abstract

The objectives of our survey were: to analyze the structure of macroinvetebrate communities in mountain streams in national parks and Biosphere Reserves (Poland, the Slovak Republic), to determine the environmental factors that influence the structure of macroinvertebrate communities and to assess the stream habitats including the bank and channel features, any modifications, land use and channel vegetation. Our results showed that in addition to the conductivity, the altitude, stream gradient and the values of the HQA index that reflected more natural features in the channel and river corridor were most important. The River Habitat Survey (RHS) method reflects not only the morphology but also the relationships between habitat features and the structure of macroinvertebrate communities and it provides a more holistic approach to assessing the health condition of stream ecosystems. Headwater streams support unique macroinvertebrate taxa that are found nowhere else in a catchment and may also constitute refuges for in-stream biota. Some of the least water pollution-tolerant macroinvertebrate taxa were recorded.

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Received: 2014-3-27
Accepted: 2014-9-24
Published Online: 2015-2-4

©2015 Iga Lewin et al.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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