Habitat expansion of a tropical chironomid by seasonal alternation in use of littoral and profundal zones

Lake Alchichica
Submitted: 19 August 2021
Accepted: 3 February 2022
Published: 10 March 2022
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The consistent warming of tropical lakes at all depths causes rapid development and long persistence of seasonal hypoxia in the hypolimnion, which greatly reduces the biodiversity of hypolimnetic benthic invertebrates. Full mixing of the water column in a typically annual cool-season creates a benthic habitat suitable for invertebrates but offers little time for colonization before the return of anoxia. In Lake Alchichica, Mexico, the endemic midge Chironomus alchichica has evolved a life cycle consisting of reproduction in waters of the littoral zone, which is suboptimal for development, followed by colonization of the hypolimnetic benthic zone during its oxic phase. As shown by the sampling of both littoral and benthic habitats over an annual cycle, the development of Ch. alchichica in the profundal zone is favoured by minimal competition (only one other invertebrate species present) and no significant predation. The rapid maturation of the midge leads to a high density of pupation before the seasonal anoxia.



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Edited by

Valeria Lencioni, Head Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology Department, MUSE-Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italy

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How to Cite

Alcocer, Javier, William M. Lewis Jr., María del Carmen Hernández, Luis A. Oseguera, Vania J.J. Pérez, and Narcís Prat. 2022. “Habitat Expansion of a Tropical Chironomid by Seasonal Alternation in Use of Littoral and Profundal Zones”. Journal of Limnology 81 (1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2022.2055.

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