Many hydrobiological studies have dealt with the autecology of species within the family Chironomidae and discussed factors affecting species distribution. The aim of the present research is to consider the most important factors affecting chironomid species distribution. Habitat type (lentic, lotic, krenal, rhithral, etc.), water temperature, conductivity, and trophic status are confirmed key factors controlling their assemblage structure. Here, we introduce the term “morphotaxon” as the taxonomic level, intermediate between genus and species, more suitable to describe the ecological responses of Chironomidae. The present uncertainty related to species identification is at the base of the proposal, with the assumption that species belonging to the same morphotaxon have similar ecological needs. In this study, this hypothesis was found to be valid, with few exceptions represented by species-rich genera (e.g., Tanytarsus, Paratanytarsus). The morphotaxon can be viewed as an interim measure waiting for the implementation of new complementary approaches, such as species identification with molecular methods.

Factors Controlling Morphotaxa Distributions of Diptera Chironomidae in Freshwaters

Matteo Montagna
Formal Analysis
;
2022

Abstract

Many hydrobiological studies have dealt with the autecology of species within the family Chironomidae and discussed factors affecting species distribution. The aim of the present research is to consider the most important factors affecting chironomid species distribution. Habitat type (lentic, lotic, krenal, rhithral, etc.), water temperature, conductivity, and trophic status are confirmed key factors controlling their assemblage structure. Here, we introduce the term “morphotaxon” as the taxonomic level, intermediate between genus and species, more suitable to describe the ecological responses of Chironomidae. The present uncertainty related to species identification is at the base of the proposal, with the assumption that species belonging to the same morphotaxon have similar ecological needs. In this study, this hypothesis was found to be valid, with few exceptions represented by species-rich genera (e.g., Tanytarsus, Paratanytarsus). The morphotaxon can be viewed as an interim measure waiting for the implementation of new complementary approaches, such as species identification with molecular methods.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/890931
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