Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: Odonata

5 The Impact of Riparian Alien Plant Removal on Aquatic Invertebrate Communities in the Upper Reaches of Luvuvhu River Catchment, Limpopo Province

Authors: Rifilwe Victor Modiba, Stefan Hendric Foord


Alien invasive plants (IAP’s) have considerable negative impacts on freshwater habitats and South Africa has implemented an innovative Work for Water (WfW) programme for the systematic removal of these plants aimed at, amongst other objectives, restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services in these threatened habitats. These restoration processes are expensive and have to be evidence-based. In this study in-stream macroinvertebrate and adult Odonata assemblages were used as indicators of restoration success by quantifying the response of biodiversity metrics for these two groups to the removal of IAP’s in a strategic water resource of South Africa that is extensively invaded by invasive alien plants (IAP’s). The study consisted of a replicated design that included 45 sampling units, viz. 15 invaded, 15 uninvaded and 15 cleared sites stratified across the upper reaches of six sub-catchments of the Luvuvhu river catchment, Limpopo Province. Cleared sites were only considered if they received at least two WfW treatments in the last 3 years. The Benthic macroinvertebrate and adult Odonate assemblages in each of these sampling were surveyed from between November and March, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 respectively. Generalized Linear Models (GLM) with a log link function and Poisson error distribution were done for metrics (invaded, cleared, and uninvaded) whose residuals were not normally distributed or had unequal variance and for abundance. RDA was done for EPTO genera (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata) and adult Odonata species abundance. GLM was done to for the abundance of Genera and Odonates that had the association with the RDA environmental factors. Sixty four benthic macroinvertebrate families, 57 EPTO genera, and 45 adult Odonata species were recorded across all 45 sampling units. There was no significant difference between the SASS5 total score, ASPT, and family richness of the three invasion classes. Although clearing only had a weak positive effect on the adult Odonate species richness it had a positive impact on DBI scores. These differences were mainly the result of significantly larger DBI scores in the cleared sites as compared to the invaded sites. Results suggest that water quality is positively impacted by repeated clearing pointing to the importance of follow up procedures after initial clearing. Adult Odonate diversity as measured by richness, endemicity, threat and distribution respond positively to all forms of the clearing. The clearing had a significant impact on Odonate assemblage structure but did not affect EPTO structure. Variation partitioning showed that 21.8% of the variation in EPTO assemblage can be explained by spatial and environmental variables, 16% of the variation in Odonate structure was explained by spatial and environmental variables. The response of the diversity metrics to clearing increased in significance at finer taxonomic resolutions, particularly of adult Odonates whose metrics significantly improved with clearing and whose structure responded to both invasion and clearing. The study recommends the use of DBI for surveying river health when hydraulic biotopes are poor.

Keywords: DBI, evidence-based conservation, EPTO, macroinvetebrates

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4 Strategy and Mechanism for Intercepting Unpredictable Moving Targets in the Blue-Tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

Authors: Ziv Kassner, Gal Ribak


Members of the Odonata order (dragonflies and damselflies) stand out for their maneuverability and superb flight control, which allow them to catch flying prey in the air. These outstanding aerial abilities were fine-tuned during millions of years of an evolutionary arms race between Odonata and their prey, providing an attractive research model for studying the relationship between sensory input – and aerodynamic output in a flying insect. The ability to catch a maneuvering target in air is interesting not just for insect behavioral ecology and neuroethology but also for designing small and efficient robotic air vehicles. While the aerial prey interception of dragonflies (suborder: Anisoptera) have been studied before, little is known about how damselflies (suborder: Zygoptera) intercept prey. Here, high-speed cameras (filming at 1000 frames per second) were used to explore how damselflies catch unpredictable targets that move through air. Blue-tailed damselflies - Ischnura elegans (family: Coenagrionidae) were introduced to a flight arena and filmed while landing on moving targets that were oscillated harmonically. The insects succeeded in capturing targets that were moved with an amplitude of 6 cm and frequencies of 0-2.5 Hz (fastest mean target speed of 0.3 m s⁻¹) and targets that were moved in 1 Hz (an average speed of 0.3 m s⁻¹) but with an amplitude of 15 cm. To land on stationary or slow targets, damselflies either flew directly to the target, or flew sideways, up to a point in which the target was fixed in the center of the field of view, followed by direct flight path towards the target. As the target moved in increased frequency, damselflies demonstrated an ability to track the targets while flying sideways and minimizing the changes of their body direction on the yaw axis. This was likely an attempt to keep the targets at the center of the visual field while minimizing rotational optic flow of the surrounding visual panorama. Stabilizing rotational optic flow helps in estimation of the velocity and distance of the target. These results illustrate how dynamic visual information is used by damselflies to guide them towards a maneuvering target, enabling the superb aerial hunting abilities of these insects. They also exemplifies the plasticity of the damselfly flight apparatus which enables flight in any direction, irrespective of the direction of the body.

Keywords: bio-mechanics, insect flight, target fixation, tracking and interception

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3 Influence of the Location of Flood Embankments on the Condition of Oxbow Lakes and Riparian Forests: A Case Study of the Middle Odra River Beds on the Example of Dragonflies (Odonata), Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and Plant Communities

Authors: Magda Gorczyca, Zofia Nocoń


Past and current studies from different countries showed that river engineering leads to environmental degradation and extinction of many species - often those protected by local and international wildlife conservation laws. Through the years, the main focus of rivers utilization has shifted from industrial applications to recreation and wildlife preservation with a focus on keeping the biodiversity which plays a significant role in preventing climate changes. Thus an opportunity appeared to recreate flooding areas and natural habitats, which are very rare in the scale of Europe. Additionally, river restoration helps to avoid floodings and periodic droughts, which are usually very damaging to the economy. In this research, the biodiversity of dragonflies and ground beetles was analyzed in the context of plant communities and forest stands structure. Results were enriched with data from past and current literature. A comparison was made between two parts of the Odra river. A part where oxbow lake and riparian forest were separated from the river bed by embankment and a part of the river with floodplains left intact. Validity assessment of embankments relocation was made based on the research results. In the period between May and September, insects were collected, phytosociological analysis were taken, and forest stand structure properties were specified. In the part of the river not separated by the embankments, rare and protected species of plants were spotted (e.g., Trapanatans, Salvinianatans) as well as greater species and quantitive diversity of dragonfly. Ground beetles fauna, though, was richer in the area separated by the embankment. Even though the research was done during only one season and in a limited area, the results can be a starting point for further extended research and may contribute to acquiring legal wildlife protection and restoration of the researched area. During the research, the presence of invasive species Impatiens parviflora, Echinocystislobata, and Procyonlotor were observed, which may lead to loss of the natural values of the researched areas.

Keywords: carabidae, floodplains, middle Odra river, Odonata, oxbow lakes, riparian forests

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2 Dragonflies (Odonata) Reflect Climate Warming Driven Changes in High Mountain Invertebrates Populations

Authors: Nikola Góral, Piotr Mikołajczuk, Paweł Buczyński


Much scientific research in the last 20 years has focused on the influence of global warming on the distribution and phenology of living organisms. Three potential responses to climate change are predicted: individual species may become extinct, adapt to new conditions in their existing range or change their range by migrating to places where climatic conditions are more favourable. It means not only migration to areas in other latitudes, but also different altitudes. In the case of dragonflies (Odonata), monitoring in Western Europe has shown that in response to global warming, dragonflies tend to change their range to a more northern one. The strongest response to global warming is observed in arctic and alpine species, as well as in species capable of migrating over long distances. The aim of the research was to assess whether the fauna of aquatic insects in high-mountain habitats has changed as a result of climate change and, if so, how big and what type these changes are. Dragonflies were chosen as a model organism because of their fast reaction to changes in the environment: they have high migration abilities and short life cycle. The state of the populations of boreal-mountain species and the extent to which lowland species entered high altitudes was assessed. The research was carried out on 20 sites in Western Sudetes, Southern Poland. They were located at an altitude of between 850 and 1250 m. The selected sites were representative of many types of valuable alpine habitats (subalpine raised bog, transitional spring bog, habitats associated with rivers and mountain streams). Several sites of anthropogenic origin were also selected. Thanks to this selection, a wide characterization of the fauna of the Karkonosze was made and it was compared whether the studied processes proceeded differently, depending on whether the habitat is primary or secondary. Both imagines and larvae were examined (by taking hydrobiological samples with a kick-net), and exuviae were also collected. Individual species dragonflies were characterized in terms of their reproductive, territorial and foraging behaviour. During each inspection, the basic physicochemical parameters of the water were measured. The population of the high-mountain dragonfly Somatochlora alpestris turned out to be in a good condition. This species was noted at several sites. Some of those sites were situated relatively low (995 m AMSL), which proves that the thermal conditions at the lower altitudes might be still optimal for this species. The protected by polish law species Somatochlora arctica, Aeshna subarctica and Leucorrhinia albifrons, as well as strongly associated with bogs Leucorrhinia dubia and Aeshna juncea bogs were observed. However, they were more frequent and more numerous in habitats of anthropogenic origin, which may suggest minor changes in the habitat preferences of dragonflies. The subject requires further research and observations over a longer time scale.

Keywords: alpine species, bioindication, global warming, habitat preferences, population dynamics

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1 Influence of Physicochemical Water Quality Parameters on Abundance of Aquatic Insects in Rivers of Perak, Malaysia

Authors: Nur Atirah Hasmi, Nadia Nisha Musa, Hasnun Nita Ismail, Zulfadli Mahfodz


The effect of water quality parameters on the abundance of aquatic insects has been studied in Batu Berangkai, Dipang, Kuala Woh and Lata Kinjang Rivers, Perak, northern peninsular Malaysia. The focuses are to compare the abundance of aquatic insects in each sampling areas and to investigate the physical and chemical factors (water temperature, depth of water, canopy, water velocity, pH value, and dissolved oxygen) on the abundance of aquatic insects. The samples and data were collected by using aquatic net and multi-probe parameter. Physical parameters; water velocity, water temperature, depth, canopy cover, and two chemical parameters; pH value and dissolved oxygen have been measured in situ and recorded. A total of 631 individuals classified into 6 orders and 18 families of aquatic insects were identified from four sampling sites. The largest percentage of samples collected is from order Plecoptera 35.8%, followed by Ephemeroptera 32.6%, Trichoptera 17.0%, Hemiptera 8.1%, Coleoptera 4.8%, and the least is Odonata 1.7%. The aquatic insects collected from Dipang River have the highest abundance of 273 individuals from 6 orders and 13 families and the least insects trapped at Lata Kinjang which only have 64 individuals from 5 orders and 6 families. There is significant association between different sampling areas and abundance of aquatic insects (p<0.05). High abundance of aquatic insects was found in higher water temperature, low water velocity, deeper water, low pH, high amount of dissolved oxygen, and the area that is not covered by canopy.

Keywords: aquatic insect, physicochemical parameter, river, water quality

Procedia PDF Downloads 144