Elzira Cecília Serafini Floss, Elisangela Secretti, Carla Bender Kotzian, Marcia Regina Spies, Mateus Marques Pires
Journal of Insect Science 13 (156), 1-27, (1 December 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.15601
KEYWORDS: aquatic insects, communities, ecology, diversity, Neotropical Region
The spatial and temporal structure of non-biting midge (Diptera: Chironomidae) larvae assemblages and some environmental factors that affect their distribution were analyzed in a montane river and its tributaries in a temperate climate region of southernmost Brazil. In total, 69 taxa were recorded after four seasonal samplings (winter, spring, summer, and autumn). The dominant taxa were Rheotanytarsus sp. 1, Rheotanytarsus sp. 2, Cricotopus sp. 2, and Polypedilum (Polypedilum) sp., although dominance varied among the four sampling sites. The variations in dominance, abundance, and richness among the different sites were affected by environmental characteristics, such as the presence of marginal vegetation and a heterogeneous substratum, and also by human activities. Strictly environmental factors, such as altitude, and factors related to annual weather patterns, such as mean temperature and precipitation, influenced the spatial and temporal distribution of certain taxa and the structure of faunal assemblages. The influence of the riparian vegetation and riverbed heterogeneity on the composition, richness, and abundance of the chironomid larvae assemblages indicates that human activities, such as deforestation and the construction of dams, constitute a serious threat to the conservation of these insects and to the fauna that depends on them for food.