Next Article in Journal
Treatment of Rural Wastewater Using a Spiral Fiber Based Salinity-Persistent Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor
Next Article in Special Issue
Diversity and Structure of the Tychoplankton Diatom Community in the Limnocrene Spring Zelenci (Slovenia) in Relation to Environmental Factors
Previous Article in Journal
Detoxification of Pesticide-Containing Wastewater with FeIII, Activated Carbon and Fenton Reagent and Its Control Using Three Standardized Bacterial Inhibition Tests
Open AccessArticle

To What Extent Are Swiss Springs Refugial Habitats for Sensitive and Endangered Diatom Taxa?

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zurich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Museo delle Scienze—MUSE, Limnology and Phycology Section, Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, 38123 Trento, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2017, 9(12), 967;
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
Habitat alteration is one of the major drivers of species loss. Springs may be among the least affected aquatic habitats and are considered to be refugial habitats. Diatom assemblages were sampled from 74 Swiss springs comprising seven spring types over a wide altitudinal and ecological range as well as a wide range of anthropogenic modifications (alterations). Each spring was assigned to a five-point alteration scale, from natural to heavily altered. In total, 504 diatom species were recorded (not including 36 taxa that could not be identified to species level) from five microhabitats, and coded according to rarity and Red List status. The results of this extensive spring-habitat diatom survey were compared statistically with a large stream diatom dataset (DI-CH). The spring diatom microflora was more species rich and included more rare and/or threatened species than the stream microflora. The proportion of Red List species and rare species was highest in the DI-CH dataset, but the proportion of species with no Red List status and rare species was the highest in springs. Species richness, Red List status, and rarity were significantly related to the degree of spring alteration. This is consistent with the hypothesis that unaltered springs function as refuges for the Swiss fresh water microflora, and that they can be regarded as “least-impaired habitats”. These may be critically important for the conservation of the European freshwater diatom microflora. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; stream; biodiversity; ecological status; conservation evaluation; algae groundwater; stream; biodiversity; ecological status; conservation evaluation; algae
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Taxböck, L.; Linder, H.P.; Cantonati, M. To What Extent Are Swiss Springs Refugial Habitats for Sensitive and Endangered Diatom Taxa? Water 2017, 9, 967.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop