Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Empirical relationships between diversity of invertebrate communities and altitude in rivers: Application to biomonitoring

  • 67 Accesses

  • 14 Citations

Abstract

The relationships between the diversity of invertebrate communities and the altitude of sampling sites were analysed in 438 benthic samples, collected between 1982 and 1991, in 56 rivers of western Switzerland. Diversity, estimated from total number of taxa (genus or family) and from number of taxa intolerant of pollution, was positively correlated with increasing altitude. In contrast, density of human population and the level of organic pollution were negatively correlated with increasing altitude. Therefore, the upstream increase of invertebrate diversity was attributed to the decrease of human population which is the main source of organic pollution. In this study, altitude was used, instead of organic pollution, to predict diversity. Empirical relationships between diversity and altitude were applied to surveys of water quality to describe the general altitudinal pattern characteristic for each region and to single out anomalous sites and rivers. In addition, changes in the altitudinal patterns of diversity can be used to monitor the recovery of rivers from pollution.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Aubert, J. 1984. L'atlas des Plécoptères de Suisse-Influence de la pollution. Annls Limnol. 20:17–20.

  2. Faravel, L. et C. Lang, 1983. Structure des communautés d'invertébrés benthiques et qualité de l'eau dans quelques affluents du Léman en 1982. Bull. Soc. Vaud. Sc. Nat. 76:341–351.

  3. Hellawell, J.M., 1986. Biological indicators of freshwater pollution and environmental management. Elsevier Science Publisher, London and New York, 546 pp.

  4. Lang, C., 1991. Surveillance biologique de l'état des lacs et des rivières du Canton de Vaud. Résultats 1977–1990. Etat de Vaud, Département de l'agriculture, de l'industrie et du commerce, Service des forêts et de la faune, 1014 Lausanne. 23 pp.

  5. Lang, C. et G. L'Eplattenier, 1985. Invertébrés benthiques et qualité de l'eau de seize rivières vaudoises. Bull. Soc. Vaud. Sc. Nat. 77:341–352.

  6. Lang, C., L'Eplattenier, G. and O. Reymond, 1989. Water quality in rivers of western Switzerland: Application of an adaptable index based on benthic invertebrates. Aquat. Sci. 51:224–234.

  7. Lang, C. et Reymond, O., 1992. Qualité de l'eau en 1991 indiquée par les communautés d'invertébrés de dix-sept rivières vaudoises. Bull. Soc. Vaud. Sc. Nat. 82:57–65.

  8. Norusis, M.J. 1990. SPSS/PC+4.0. SPSS INC. Chicago.

  9. Perret, P., 1977. Zustand der Schweizerischen Fliesswässer in den Jahren 1974/1975. Eidg. Amt. für Umweltschutz, Bern.

  10. Ribaut, J.P., 1966. Les poissons des cours d'eau du canton de Vaud (Suisse). Mém. Soc. Vaud. sc. Nat. 87:69–128.

  11. Sartori, M., 1987. Contribution à l'étude taxonomique et éco-faunistique des éphéméroptères de Suisse (Insecta; Ephemeroptera). Thèse Uni. Lausanne, 562 pp.

  12. Siegenthaler-Moreillon, C. 1991. Les Trichoptères de Suisse occidentale (Insecta, Trichoptera). Thèse Uni. Lausanne, 243 pp.

  13. SRIS, Service de Recherches et d'Information Statistique, 1990. Annuaire statistique du canton de Vaud, 1014 Lausanne.

  14. Statzner, B. and F. Sperling, 1993. Potential contribution of system-specific knowledge (SSK) to stream management decisions: ecological and economic aspects. Freshw. Biol. 29:313–342.

  15. Tachet, H., Bournaud, M. et Ph. Richoux, 1980. Introduction à l'étude des macroinvertébrés des eaux douces. Univ. Lyon, 156 pp.

  16. Ward, J.V., 1986. Altitudinal zonation in a Rocky Mountain stream. Arch. Hydrobiol./Suppl. 74:133–199.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lang, C., Reymond, O. Empirical relationships between diversity of invertebrate communities and altitude in rivers: Application to biomonitoring. Aquatic Science 55, 188–196 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00877448

Download citation

Key words

  • benthos
  • biodiversity
  • biomonitoring
  • empirical relationships
  • rivers
  • water quality