The impact of sediment removal on the aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblage in a fishpond littoral zone

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Jan SYCHRA *
Zdeněk ADÁMEK
(*) Corresponding Author:
Jan SYCHRA | dubovec@seznam.cz

Abstract

Bottom sediment removal, a widely used technique in restoration management of standing water bodies, has a strong influence on communities of aquatic organisms. As most information on the impact of sediment removal on the aquatic environment comes from studies on lakes, the aim of this study was to describe macroinvertebrate assemblage succession in a fishpond (Štěpánek fishpond, Bohemian-Moravian highlands, Czech Republic) littoral zone following restoration by sediment removal during the winter of 2003/2004. Semi-quantitative hand net sampling was undertaken one year before (2003) and in each of the following five years (2004–2008) after sediment removal. A significant decrease in both abundance (approx. 90% of individuals) and diversity (approx. 30% of taxa) of macroinvertebrates was detected immediately after pond restoration. The values gradually increased over subsequent years, reaching comparable abundance and diversity three years after sediment removal. A significant shift was recorded in the taxonomic and functional composition of the macroinvertebrate assemblage after sediment removal. Mayfly larvae were the dominant invertebrates before restoration, while chironomid larvae and oligochaetes dominated after sediment removal. Phytophilous taxa, grazers and scrapers, and swimming or diving invertebrates were common in 2003, whilst open-water taxa preferring mud and other mostly inorganic microhabitats, gatherers/collectors, and burrowing/boring invertebrates were relatively common after sediment removal. In 2008, the assemblage reverted towards the situation before sediment removal, probably connected with a lower water level and accelerated macrophyte bed succession. Principal Component Analysis on the species data confirmed the differences in invertebrate taxonomic structure among sampling years. Succession of the fishpond invertebrate assemblage in the years following sediment removal was mainly influenced by fish farming practice and local conditions, i.e. the presence of macrophyte beds, mesohabitat changes following restoration, and the presence of other water bodies in the surroundings.

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