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Title: The influence of natural flow regimes on macroinvertebrate assemblages in a semiarid Mediterranean basin
Authors: Belmar, O.
Velasco, J.
Gutierrez-Canovas, C.
Mellado-Diaz, A.
Millan, A.
Wood, Paul J.
Keywords: Flow stability
Macroinvertebrate composition
Minimum flows
Natural flow regime
Segura River basin
Semiarid Mediterranean streams
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: © John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Citation: BELMAR, O. ... et al, 2013. The influence of natural flow regimes on macroinvertebrate assemblages in a semiarid Mediterranean basin. Ecohydrology, 6 (3), pp. 363 - 379
Abstract: The investigation of flow-ecology relationships constitutes the basis for the development of environmental flow criteria. The need to understand hydrology-ecology linkages in natural systems has increased owing to the prospect of climate change and flow regime management, especially in water-scarce areas such as Mediterranean basins. Our research quantified the macroinvertebrate community response at family, genus and species level to natural flow regime dynamics in freshwater streams of a Mediterranean semiarid basin (Segura River, SE Spain) and identified the flow components that influence the composition and richness of biotic assemblages. Flow stability and minimum flows were the principal hydrological drivers of macroinvertebrate assemblages, whereas the magnitude of average and maximum flows had a limited effect. Perennial stable streams were characterized by flow sensitive lotic taxa (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera) and intermittent streams by predominately lentic taxa (Odonata, Coleoptera, Heteroptera and Diptera). Relatively minor biological changes were recorded for intermediate flow regime classes along a gradient of flow stability. Seasonal variation and minimum flows are key hydrological components that need to be considered for river management and environmental flows in the Segura River basin and other Mediterranean basins. The anthropogenic modification of these parameters, due to both human activities and climate change, would probably lead to significant changes in the structure and composition of communities in perennial stable streams. This would be characterized by a reduction of flow sensitive Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera taxa and an increase in more resilient Odonata, Coleoptera, Heteroptera and Diptera taxa. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Description: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: BELMAR, O. ... et al, 2013. The influence of natural flow regimes on macroinvertebrate assemblages in a semiarid Mediterranean basin. Ecohydrology, 6 (3), pp. 363 - 379, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eco.1274. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Sponsor: We wish to thank the University of Murcia and the Fundación Séneca for their financial support to Óscar Belmar and Cayetano Gutiérrez-Cánovas, respectively, by means of predoctoral grants; the Euromed iterran ean Institute of Water for its support to the project ‘Hydro- logical classification of the rivers and streams in the Segura basin and associated macroinvertebrate communities’; the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura for providing the climatic data and the SIMPA model; and the Instituto Geográfico Nacional as well as the Instituto Geológico y Minero de España for the GIS data.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1002/eco.1274
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/17358
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eco.1274
ISSN: 1936-0584
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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