ALBARIÑO Ricardo Javier
Stream macroinvertebrate communities change with grassland afforestation in central Argentina
MÁRQUEZ, J. A.; CIBILS MARTINA, L.; PRÍNCIPE, R. E.; ALBARIÑO, R. J.
Año: 2015 vol. 53 p. 17 - 17
Lotic ecosystems are highly affected by land use changes such as afforestation of natural areas for management or commercial purposes. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of pine plantations on benthic invertebrate communities in mountain grassland streams. Additionally, we assessed if the hydrological period modifies the effect of afforestation on stream invertebrates. Three headwater streams draining grasslands (reference streams) and three draining plantations of Pinus elliottii were selected in a mountain watershed of Córdoba province (Argentina). Hydrologic and physicochemical variables were registered and benthic invertebrate samples were collected in each stream at two different hydrological periods. Total invertebrate abundance, richness and diversity were reduced in afforested streams as well as the number of indicator taxa. In addition, invertebrate functional structure (i.e. taxonomic richness and total and relative abundance of functional feeding groups, FFG) showed differences between streams with different riparian vegetation and between hydrological periods. Total abundance of all FFGs was lower in afforested streams and scrapers? relative abundance was higher in grassland streams at the low water period. In addition, in most FFGs richness was diminished in afforested streams. Changes in light intensity, hydrology and coarse organic matter inputs produced by afforestation alter fluvial habitats and consequently the composition and trophic structure of invertebrate communities in grassland streams of Córdoba mountains.