The ecological requirements of Agapetus fuscipes Curtis (Glossosomatidae), a characteristic species in unimpacted streams

R.C. Nijboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agapetus fuscipes is a caddisfly that only seems to occur in unimpacted streams and therefore can be a suitable indicator species for natural conditions. The species has decreased in the Netherlands because of human activities which caused organic pollution and hydromorphological degradation. Literature was reviewed to study the autecology and life cycle of A. fuscipes in order to reveai the ecological requirements of this species. By taking Agapetus fuscipes as an example, it is shown that the autecology and life cycle of an indicator species can give important clues for its presence in unimpacted and absence in impacted streams
Agapetus fuscipes is a caddisfly that only seems to occur in unimpacted streams and therefore can be a suitable indicator species for natural conditions. The species has decreased in the Netherlands because of human activities which caused organic pollution and hydromorphological degradation. Literature was reviewed to study the autecology and life cycle of A. fuscipes in order to reveal the ecological requirements of this species. By taking Agapetus fuscipes as an example, it is shown that the autecology and life cycle of an indicator species can give important clues for its presence in unimpacted and absence in impacted streams. A. fuscipes is very susceptible to organic pollution and to a lesser degree to discharge dynamics (dropping water level and discharge peaks). The species copes with dynamic discharge events by maintaining a high population density and recolonisation of disturbed habitats from refuges. However, the vulnerability of the species strongly depends on the life stage of the animals (e.g., the ability to migrate, the oxygen demand and the habitat requirements differ between instars). Although several adaptations to dynamic conditions, a high frequency of discharge peaks or a long period of drought can cause the population to decline. Once a population has totally disappeared from a stream it will take the species a long time to recolonise the stream because of its low dispersion capacity. To protect this species stream restoration should focus on water quality (avoid organic pollution and agricultural run off) and on stabilising the discharge by taking care of natural infiltration in the catchment area instead of fast removal of rain water by drainage systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
JournalLimnologica
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • indicator species
  • trichoptera
  • water quality
  • streams
  • pollution
  • ecology
  • monitoring
  • life cycle
  • netherlands
  • biomonitoring
  • caddis larvae
  • life-cycle
  • fauna
  • substratum
  • vegetation
  • dispersal
  • growth
  • algae

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