Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 3609–3632 | Cite as

Conservation of taxonomic and biological trait diversity of European stream macroinvertebrate communities: a case for a collective public database

  • Bernhard Statzner
  • Núria Bonada
  • Sylvain Dolédec
Original Paper


The use of databases for the conservation of biodiversity is increasing. During the last decade, such a database has been created for European stream macroinvertebrates. Today, it includes 527 sites that are the least human-impacted representatives of many stream types across many European regions. It includes data on the abundance of 312 invertebrate genera, several environmental site characteristics, collection methods, bibliographic data sources, and 11 biological traits of the genera (e.g. size, life cycle, food and feeding habits, described in 61 categories). The database will be useful in addressing many topics that are potentially relevant to biodiversity conservation. To illustrate this potential, we provide examples of how the data could be exploited. First, we describe the frequency of some taxonomic and biological characteristics (e.g. richness and diversity of genera and traits) of the macroinvertebrate communities and assess how these characteristics are related (e.g. how trait richness increases with genus richness). Second, we describe the frequency of some characteristics of the genera and traits (e.g. occurrence frequency, abundance, dispersion index) and again assess how these characteristics are related (e.g. how occurrence increases with abundance). Finally, we suggest how the database could be developed into a collective, publicly accessible database that covers stream types and regions of Europe more comprehensively.


Abundance Contagious distribution Dissimilarity Occurrence frequency Rarity Relationships Richness Trait categories 



We thank all researchers and editors who published results in a format such that we could use them for our database and the many colleagues that provided personal information to fill data gaps (all mentioned in previous papers that used the data). We particularly thank our Iberian colleagues who generously provided so many published and unpublished Mediterranean data and agreed that these could be made accessible to others: Vicenç Acuña, Isabel Muñoz, Narcís Prat, Maria Rieradevall, Carolina Solà, Mireia Vila (all at the University of Barcelona), Maria Luisa Suárez, Chary Vidal-Abarca (both at the University of Murcia), Nuno Coimbra, Manuel Graça (both at the University of Coimbra), Javier Alba-Tercedor, Carmen Zamora-Muñoz (both at the University of Granada), Alfonso Gallardo-Mayenco (University of Sevilla), and José Luis Moreno (University of Castilla-La-Mancha). We sincerely thank Henri Tachet for permission to provide on-line access to the modified and expanded trait information of Tachet et al. (2002) (under the condition that this key source of the trait data will be cited when used in publications by others). Finally, we thank two anonymous referees and Robert H. Cowie for comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Statzner
    • 1
  • Núria Bonada
    • 1
  • Sylvain Dolédec
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS-Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes FluviauxUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance

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