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Volume 16, issue 1 | Copyright

Special issue: Ecology at the Interface

Web Ecol., 16, 13-15, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-16-13-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Short communication 01 Feb 2016

Short communication | 01 Feb 2016

Relations between environmental gradients and diversity indices of benthic invertebrates in lotic systems of northern Italy

V. G. Aschonitis, G. Castaldelli, and E. A. Fano V. G. Aschonitis et al.
  • Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, V. L. Borsari 46, 44121, Italy

Abstract. The relations between environmental gradients, as measured by 19 independent variables, and traditional diversity indices (taxonomic richness, diversity and evenness) of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the lotic systems of northern Italy were analyzed. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to describe the response of taxa to environmental gradients. Diversity indices were analyzed using generalized linear models (GLMs) with explanatory variables the first two major RDA axes. The results from RDA showed that taxa variance is mostly explained by altitude/latitude and combined pollution gradients. Taxonomic richness and diversity was higher in the low polluted upland sites (LPUs) in comparison to high polluted lowland sites (HPLs), suggesting that headwater streams have higher taxonomic richness than downstream reaches. On the other hand, evenness was lower in LPUs, probably due to the dominance of some taxa (e.g., Plecoptera) that are more tolerant of colder conditions.

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The relations between environmental gradients and traditional diversity indices (taxonomic richness, diversity and evenness) of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in the lotic systems of northern Italy were analyzed. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to describe the response of taxa to environmental gradients. Diversity indices were analyzed using generalized linear models (GLMs) with explanatory variables the first two major RDA axes.
The relations between environmental gradients and traditional diversity indices (taxonomic...
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