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Distribution and ecology of the stoneflies (Plecoptera)of Flanders (Belgium)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2009

K. Lock
Affiliation:
Ghent University, Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, J. Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Gent, Belgium.
P. L.M. Goethals
Affiliation:
Ghent University, Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, J. Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Gent, Belgium.
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Abstract

Based on a literature survey and the identifi cation of all available collection material from Flanders, a checklist is presented, distribution maps are plotted and the relationship between the occurrence of the different species and water characteristics is analysed. Of the sixteen stonefly species that have been recorded, three are now extinct in Flanders (Isogenus nubecula, Taeniopteryx nebulosa and T. schoenemundi), while the remaining species are rare. The occurrence of stoneflies is almost restricted to small brooks, while observations in larger watercourses are almost lacking. Although a few records may indicate that some larger watercourses have recently been recolonised, these observations consisted of single specimens and might be due to drift. Most stonefly population are strongly isolated and therefore extremely vulnerable. Small brooks in the Campine region (northeast Flanders), which are characterised by a lower pH and a lower conductivity, contained a different stonefly community than the small brooks in the rest of Flanders. Leuctra pseudosignifera, Nemoura marginata and Protonemura intricata are mainly found in small brooks in the loamy region, Amphinemura standfussi, Isoperla grammatica, Leuctra fusca, L. hippopus, N. avicularis and P. meyeri mainly occur in small Campine brooks, while L. nigra, N. cinerea and Nemurella pictetii can be found in both types. Nemoura dubitans can typically be found in stagnant water fed with freatic water. Sustainable populations of these stonefly species can only be achieved when their present habitats are adequately protected and in addition, measures should be taken to connect and enlarge the remaining populations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Université Paul Sabatier, 2008

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Distribution and ecology of the stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Flanders (Belgium)
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