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Article

Relationship between Environmental Conditions and Structure of Macroinvertebrate Community in a Hydromorphologically Altered Pre-Alpine River

by 1,* and 1,2
1
Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Vojkova 1b, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 2987; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112987
Received: 4 September 2020 / Revised: 13 October 2020 / Accepted: 22 October 2020 / Published: 24 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Communities in Human-Altered Ecosystems)
Hydromorphological alterations influence a wide range of environmental conditions as well as riparian vegetation and the structure of the macroinvertebrate community. We studied relationships between the structure and diversity of the macroinvertebrate community and hydromorphological and other environmental conditions in the river Gradaščica (central Slovenia). The Gradaščica river is a pre-Alpine torrential river that has been morphologically altered by humans. A selection of abiotic factors was measured, the ecomorphological status of the river was assessed, vegetation in the riparian zone was surveyed and benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled. Correlations between diversity and the structure of the macroinvertebrate community, environmental parameters and occurrence of invasive alien plant species in the riparian zone were identified. The significance of the influence of environmental parameters on the structure of the macroinvertebrate community was examined. We found that hydromorphological alterations in the river have had a significant influence on the diversity and composition of the macroinvertebrate community because of changes of flow velocity and the spread of invasive alien plant species that has followed those changes. Factors that also significantly influence the composition of macroinvertebrate community are distance from the source and conductivity. Our findings suggest minimization of further human hydromorphological changes of watercourses could prevent the loss of biodiversity of riverine ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: morphological alterations; benthic invertebrates; riparian vegetation; RCE survey; invasive alien species morphological alterations; benthic invertebrates; riparian vegetation; RCE survey; invasive alien species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zelnik, I.; Muc, T. Relationship between Environmental Conditions and Structure of Macroinvertebrate Community in a Hydromorphologically Altered Pre-Alpine River. Water 2020, 12, 2987. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112987

AMA Style

Zelnik I, Muc T. Relationship between Environmental Conditions and Structure of Macroinvertebrate Community in a Hydromorphologically Altered Pre-Alpine River. Water. 2020; 12(11):2987. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112987

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zelnik, Igor; Muc, Tjaša. 2020. "Relationship between Environmental Conditions and Structure of Macroinvertebrate Community in a Hydromorphologically Altered Pre-Alpine River" Water 12, no. 11: 2987. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112987

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