Spatial and temporal re-distribution of Naididae (tubificoid naidids and naidids s.str., Annelida, Clitellata) in Europe due to climate change: a review based on observational data.

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Abstract

Temperature is one of the most important factors affecting the life history characteristics and biogeography of aquatic oligochaetes in the family Naididae (both the tubificoid Naididae and the Naididae s.str. species). To understand the effect on oligochaetes of climate change in The Netherlands, the impact of temperature rise on tubificoid naidids and naidids s.str. is studied at temporal and spatial scale. The spatial scale includes the temperature change induced shift of biogeographic distribution patterns over The Netherlands. I took as hypothesis that, based on the climate change predicted for The Netherlands, Dutch waters would potentially be colonized by species presently occurring in the south-central parts of France. Species with their most southern distributional boundaries in The Netherlands will possibly become extinct. Climate change is a fast process; oligochaetes likely will be unable to adapt naturally within the accelerated climatological change we are now experiencing. The only way in which oligochaetes can easily be transported throughout Europe is by anthropogenic interference. If the introduction location is suitable, the species then will colonize. A change in the species list within tubificoid naidids and naidids s.str., perhaps ranging from 5% to perhaps 15%, could occur in the future. In general, the number of potential immigrants and emigrants related to climatic change is low. This supports the conclusion that the expected climatic changes will not essentially modify the aquatic oligochaete fauna in Europe, particularly when compared with the contemporary long-distance anthropogenic introductions of many species. The temporal scale includes the temperature change induced shift of life history stages of oligochaetes over the year. Therefore, the occurrence of different life history stages over major regions in Europe was used. The hypothesis of oligochaetes showing different life history features in population occurring between western and eastern Europe, and in populations occurring between northern and southern Europe was tested. Only slight support for this hypothesis could be documented, due in part to the scattered and unequally divided data availability over Europe. When going from western to eastern Europe, the mature stage lasted somewhat longer and reproductive periods somewhat shorter for tubificoid naidids. Naidids s.str. were present along this gradient for longer periods of the year. The north-south gradient lacked enough data. Several other observations can argue against our interpretation, primarily those related to the oligochaetes’ (genetic) plasticity or adaptation, population dynamics, food, behavior, and tolerance to a range of environmental conditions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-138
JournalActa Hydrobiologica Sinica
Volume31
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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