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Article: Responses of benthic macroinvertebrate communities to altitude and geology in tributaries of the Sepik River (Papua New Guinea): The influence of taxonomic resolution on the detection of environmental gradients

TitleResponses of benthic macroinvertebrate communities to altitude and geology in tributaries of the Sepik River (Papua New Guinea): The influence of taxonomic resolution on the detection of environmental gradients
Authors
KeywordsAltitude
Biogeography
Biomonitoring
Community composition
Heteroptera
Issue Date2012
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/FWB
Citation
Freshwater Biology, 2012, v. 57 n. 9, p. 1794-1812 How to Cite?
AbstractBenthic macroinvertebrate communities were sampled in 30 tributary streams at altitudes from sea level to about 3000m draining three geologically distinct regions within the catchment of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea. The fauna of this near-pristine river has been little studied, and the impacts of ongoing and anticipated human impacts on the Sepik are uncertain. Data on community composition were analysed at different levels of taxonomic resolution (species or morphospecies versus family) to compare their responses to environmental variables such as altitude and geology (reflected in water chemistry), and to indicate their potential utility for the detection of environmental change. A total of 183000 macroinvertebrates representing 250 species were collected, predominantly insects (232 species and >99% of individuals). The fauna was co-dominated by Diptera (42% of individuals; 32 morphospecies, mainly Orthocladiinae, Simuliidae and Chironominae) and Ephemeroptera (36%; 48 species), although the Trichoptera showed the highest species (67) and family (13) richness, with Coleoptera ranked third (43 species). Naucoridae (Heteroptera) and Crambidae: Acentropinae (Lepidoptera), each represented by 13 species, were distinctive faunal elements. Mayflies were represented by only four families, one consisting of a single species. Multivariate analysis of the species-level data set revealed that community composition was influenced by geological region, but the effect was largely due to altitude as most streams in one region (the Central Highlands) were at higher elevations (>800m) than streams in the other two regions (<500m). However, altitude had no direct effect on species richness. A secondary influence of current speed and a subsidiary effect of water chemistry (pH and N-NO 3) on community composition were also detected. Naucorid bugs showed evidence of altitudinal zonation and some species replacement, plus a tendency for certain genera to be associated with highland or lowland streams. Analysis of the family-level data set failed to uncover strong effects of any environmental variable, either individually or in combination, although some sensitivity to altitude plus slope was detected. These findings suggest that attempts to use macroinvertebrates to detect environmental change in New Guinea streams will require species-level monitoring of community composition. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/160587
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.933
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.574
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorDudgeon, Den_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-16T06:14:48Z-
dc.date.available2012-08-16T06:14:48Z-
dc.date.issued2012en_HK
dc.identifier.citationFreshwater Biology, 2012, v. 57 n. 9, p. 1794-1812en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0046-5070en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/160587-
dc.description.abstractBenthic macroinvertebrate communities were sampled in 30 tributary streams at altitudes from sea level to about 3000m draining three geologically distinct regions within the catchment of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea. The fauna of this near-pristine river has been little studied, and the impacts of ongoing and anticipated human impacts on the Sepik are uncertain. Data on community composition were analysed at different levels of taxonomic resolution (species or morphospecies versus family) to compare their responses to environmental variables such as altitude and geology (reflected in water chemistry), and to indicate their potential utility for the detection of environmental change. A total of 183000 macroinvertebrates representing 250 species were collected, predominantly insects (232 species and >99% of individuals). The fauna was co-dominated by Diptera (42% of individuals; 32 morphospecies, mainly Orthocladiinae, Simuliidae and Chironominae) and Ephemeroptera (36%; 48 species), although the Trichoptera showed the highest species (67) and family (13) richness, with Coleoptera ranked third (43 species). Naucoridae (Heteroptera) and Crambidae: Acentropinae (Lepidoptera), each represented by 13 species, were distinctive faunal elements. Mayflies were represented by only four families, one consisting of a single species. Multivariate analysis of the species-level data set revealed that community composition was influenced by geological region, but the effect was largely due to altitude as most streams in one region (the Central Highlands) were at higher elevations (>800m) than streams in the other two regions (<500m). However, altitude had no direct effect on species richness. A secondary influence of current speed and a subsidiary effect of water chemistry (pH and N-NO 3) on community composition were also detected. Naucorid bugs showed evidence of altitudinal zonation and some species replacement, plus a tendency for certain genera to be associated with highland or lowland streams. Analysis of the family-level data set failed to uncover strong effects of any environmental variable, either individually or in combination, although some sensitivity to altitude plus slope was detected. These findings suggest that attempts to use macroinvertebrates to detect environmental change in New Guinea streams will require species-level monitoring of community composition. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journals/FWBen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofFreshwater Biologyen_HK
dc.subjectAltitudeen_HK
dc.subjectBiogeographyen_HK
dc.subjectBiomonitoringen_HK
dc.subjectCommunity compositionen_HK
dc.subjectHeteropteraen_HK
dc.titleResponses of benthic macroinvertebrate communities to altitude and geology in tributaries of the Sepik River (Papua New Guinea): The influence of taxonomic resolution on the detection of environmental gradientsen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailDudgeon, D: ddudgeon@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityDudgeon, D=rp00691en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1365-2427.2012.02839.xen_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84864116972en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros205662en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-84864116972&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume57en_HK
dc.identifier.issue9en_HK
dc.identifier.spage1794en_HK
dc.identifier.epage1812en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1365-2427-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000306736200004-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridDudgeon, D=7006559840en_HK

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