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Volume 44, Issue 4


Are beetles good indicators of insect diversity in freshwater lakes?

Joanna Pakulnicka
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Łódzki 3, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
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/ Edyta Buczyńska
  • Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology and Wild Life Management, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, ul. Akademicka 13, 20-033 Lublin, Poland
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/ Paweł Buczyński
  • Department of Zoology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, ul. Akademicka 19, 20-033 Lublin, Poland
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/ Stanisław Czachorowski
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Łódzki 3, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
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/ Alicja Kurzątkowska
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Łódzki 3, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
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/ Krzysztof Lewandowski
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Łódzki 3, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
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/ Robert Stryjecki
  • Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology and Wild Life Management, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, ul. Akademicka 13, 20-033 Lublin, Poland
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/ Anna Frelik
  • Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Plac Łódzki 3, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
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Published Online: 2015-12-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ohs-2015-0046


The study verifies the usefulness of aquatic beetles as an indicator of biodiversity of a simple ecological system. Detailed analyses were carried out at the elementary level for the purpose of determining the significance of correlations between the biodiversity of Coleoptera and other groups of aquatic insects in single samples. The relation of selected taxa to selected habitats of the lake Wukśniki (north-eastern Poland) was also investigated. Moreover, the possibility of application of biodiversity surrogates, i.e. higher taxonomic units (genera and orders), in the determination of biodiversity was examined. A significant high correlation was determined between Coleoptera and the total remaining taxa (RR - Remaining Richness) in samples collected in the entire lake. The correlation has the highest value at the species level. The complementarity analysis reveals that the percentage contribution of Coleoptera in the overall biodiversity of the lake is similarly high at the species and genus level, and substantially lower at the family level. In accordance with the hypothesis, aquatic beetles can be used as indicators of the overall biodiversity of insects in the ecosystem of a mesotrophic lake. Biodiversity surrogates, i.e. higher taxonomic units (genera and families), can be applied instead of the species level.

Keywords: Coleoptera; macroinvertebrates; lake; biodiversity indicators; surrogates


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About the article

Received: 2015-04-27

Accepted: 2015-06-15

Published Online: 2015-12-09

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, Volume 44, Issue 4, Pages 487–499, ISSN (Online) 1897-3191, ISSN (Print) 1730-413X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ohs-2015-0046.

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