Several Alpine streams are currently facing recurrent summer drying events with detrimental consequences on stream detritivores, i.e., shredders, due to negative effects via changes the organic matter (CPOM) availability. We examined the ecological requirements of three phylogenetically related shredder genera belonging to the family of Nemouridae (Plecoptera), namely Nemoura, Protonemura and Amphinemura, in 14 Alpine streams recently facing recurrent summer flow intermittency events. We evaluated the overlap among their ecological niches measured in terms of hydraulic stress, substrate composition, changes in CPOM availability and competition with other shredder taxa (i.e., presence of individuals of other shredders) and we examined potential changes in their ecological niches between permanent and intermittent sites. The ecological niches of Protonemura and Amphinemura overlap broadly, but not with Nemoura, suggesting only partial potential competition. The reduced CPOM availability decreased the individual abundance of the three genera in intermittent sites, where they consistently preferred microhabitats with high CPOM availability and low competition with other shredder taxa, possibly due to food limitation. Overall, our results emphasize how the negative effect of flow intermittency on shredders in Alpine streams is mainly due to the decrease in CPOM availability, with consequent potential bottom up effects on stream ecosystem functionality.

Flow intermittency negatively affects three phylogenetically related shredder stoneflies by reducing CPOM availability in recently intermittent Alpine streams in SW-Italian Alps

Elena Piano
;
Elisa Falasco;Laura Gruppuso;Francesca Bona;Stefano Fenoglio
2020

Abstract

Several Alpine streams are currently facing recurrent summer drying events with detrimental consequences on stream detritivores, i.e., shredders, due to negative effects via changes the organic matter (CPOM) availability. We examined the ecological requirements of three phylogenetically related shredder genera belonging to the family of Nemouridae (Plecoptera), namely Nemoura, Protonemura and Amphinemura, in 14 Alpine streams recently facing recurrent summer flow intermittency events. We evaluated the overlap among their ecological niches measured in terms of hydraulic stress, substrate composition, changes in CPOM availability and competition with other shredder taxa (i.e., presence of individuals of other shredders) and we examined potential changes in their ecological niches between permanent and intermittent sites. The ecological niches of Protonemura and Amphinemura overlap broadly, but not with Nemoura, suggesting only partial potential competition. The reduced CPOM availability decreased the individual abundance of the three genera in intermittent sites, where they consistently preferred microhabitats with high CPOM availability and low competition with other shredder taxa, possibly due to food limitation. Overall, our results emphasize how the negative effect of flow intermittency on shredders in Alpine streams is mainly due to the decrease in CPOM availability, with consequent potential bottom up effects on stream ecosystem functionality.
847
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4049
4061
Organic matter Ecological niche Hypervolume Nemouridae Stream detritivores
Elena Piano, Alberto Doretto, Elisa Falasco, Laura Gruppuso, Francesca Bona, Stefano Fenoglio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1755618
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