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Ecology of Chironomids Associated with Myriophyllum Spicatum L. and Heteranthera Dubia Macm

Description: Macroinvertebrate communities inhabiting an exotic, Myriophyllum spicatum, and a native, Heteranthera dubia macrophyte were studied from March 1999 to June 2000 in experimental ponds. Although macrophyte architecture explained some variation in macroinvertebrate abundance between the two macrophytes, most variation was explained by the sampling months. Total number of macroinvertebrates was found to be positively correlated with epiphyton biomass which differed significantly between the two plant types and among sampling months. Taxa richness did not vary between the two plant types. Chironomid larvae were the most abundant organisms and dominated by Apedilum elachistus on both plant communities. Annual production of five chironomid species was estimated by the size-frequency method. Production estimates (P) in g dry wt m-2 yr-1 of plant surface area for the predator Tanypodinae larvae were: Larsia decolarata, P= 0.77 and 0.67, Labrundinia virescens, P= 0.59 and 0.35 on M. spicatum and H. dubia, respectively. Larvae of Cricotopus sylvestris and Psectrocladius vernalis were collected from M. spicatum from March to mid-June. Production of C. sylvestris was found to be 0.46 g dry wt m-2, whereas it was 0.07 g dry wt m-2 for P. vernalis for this period. Apedilum elachistus exhibited the highest productivity: 9.9 g dry wt m-2 yr-1 of plant surface area on M. spicatum, and 8.5 g dry wt m-2 yr-1 on H. dubia. These production estimates are among the highest production values reported for a single species. Additionally, post-ovipositing development times for five chironomid species collected from Myriophyllum and Heteranthera were determined. Three different temperatures (15°, 20° and 25°C) were chosen to rear eggs under 12L: 12D photoperiod. Egg development times ranged between 1-4 days. Larval development times ranged from 44 days at 20°C for Tanypus neopunctipennis to as few as 9 days at 20°C for Larsia decolorata.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Balci, Pinar