Biodiversity of microcrustaceans (Cladocera, Copepoda) in a lowland river ecosystem

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Maciej Karpowicz *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maciej Karpowicz | m.karpowicz@uwb.edu.pl

Abstract

This study presents comprehensive research on microcrustacean diversity in different types of aquatic environments in the Upper Narew Valley over five years. A total of 559 samples were analyzed, and 74 species of crustacean zooplankton were identified. Metacyclops planus (Gurney, 1909) is a new species for the fauna of Poland and was found in oxbow lakes and tributary streams. The results of the study suggest that oxbow lakes, with more than 80% of all recorded species, may significantly contribute to the regional biodiversity of floodplain rivers. The highest crustacean community diversity was observed in the semi-lotic oxbow lakes, which emphasizes the role of intermediate disturbance in enhancing biodiversity of water bodies in river valleys. Generally, more “heterogeneous” habitats, such as small oxbow lakes and tributary streams, had higher crustacean species richness. However, a sampling station that was quite “homogeneous”, the Narew River upstream the Siemianówka Reservoir, had high crustacean species richness. The species accumulation curves revealed that approximately 50 - 100 zooplankton samples taken from different environments of river valley are required to establish crustacean species richness. These data could be important for river catchment management and could act as pilot survey data for monitoring plans.


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