Main content area

Influence of Pools and Riffles on Chironomidae Diversity in Headwater Streams of the Atlantic Forest

Silveira, L S, Rosa, B F J V, Gonçalves, E A, Alves, R G
Neotropical entomology 2015 v.44 no.5 pp. 423-429
Chironomidae, dry season, forests, habitats, larvae, lotic systems, species diversity, streams, Brazil
Studies on mesohabitat scale have been used to shed light on the ecology and distribution of chironomid larvae in small streams. Thus, the objective of the present study was to examine the diversity and distribution of the Chironomidae assemblage on the mesohabitat scale in three streams located in different preserved areas of southeastern Brazil. In each stream, litter samples were obtained in the dry season of 2010 in ten pools and ten riffles with a Surber sampler (area 0.04 m²; mesh size 0.21 mm). The abundance was similar among streams and between mesohabitats, while the estimated richness was highest in riffles. There was a difference in the composition of the Chironomidae assemblages between the mesohabitats, although the litter composition was similar between them, indicating the importance of current speed on the distribution of the taxa. The dispersion of the sample units (β-diversity) of riffles and pools was similar, although it was different among the three streams. The results of this study provide further evidence of the importance of habitat heterogeneity within streams as a generator of diversity for Chironomidae in tropical lotic systems.