Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (12 April 2022) | Viewed by 12786

Special Issue Editor

Department of Bioinformatics, Institute of Research and Development for Biological Sciences, 296 Independenței Bd., District 6, 060031 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: freshwater ecology; cave biology and hyporheic zone; food webs; invasive species
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The biological diversity of aquatic invertebrates refers to the existence of a wide range of taxonomic groups of invertebrates dwelling in various types of natural or human-made freshwater habitats. The aquatic invertebrates are commonly used as a general term for many worms, crustaceans, mollusks, and insects dwelling in lotic (e.g., streams, rivers, hyporheic zone) or lentic (e.g. lakes, reservoirs, groundwater) ecosystems. This great diversity of aquatic taxa in freshwater habitats is the result of many phylogenetic lineages that colonized these ecosystems independently. At present, aquatic invertebrates are divided into two distinct categories, the meiofauna and the macrofauna, dependent on their size. Meiofauna is considered as the category of invertebrates that pass through sieves with a mesh size of 1mm but are retained on those of 63μm, whereas the macroinvertebrates are at least 1mm in size.

This Special Issue aims to be a collection of papers emphasizing the latest advances in understanding the diversity and the biology of various taxonomic groups of aquatic invertebrates (comprising both macroinvertebrates and meiofauna) in lotic and lentic habitats.

Dr. Octavian Pacioglu
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • aquatic invertebrates diversity
  • ecology of freshwater invertebrates
  • macroinvertebrates
  • meiofauna
  • community ecology

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

28 pages, 12316 KiB  
Article
The Interplay of Environment and Biota in Assessing the Freshwater Quality in Karst
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060475 - 12 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
Karst aquifers are both a valuable resource for humankind and a habitat for unique biota. The quality of freshwater sources may be easily affected by natural (e.g., geology, climate, and vegetation) and anthropogenic (e.g., agriculture, livestock, and tourism) changes, particularly in karst landscapes [...] Read more.
Karst aquifers are both a valuable resource for humankind and a habitat for unique biota. The quality of freshwater sources may be easily affected by natural (e.g., geology, climate, and vegetation) and anthropogenic (e.g., agriculture, livestock, and tourism) changes, particularly in karst landscapes with highly vulnerable groundwater reservoirs. We seasonally monitored nine representative freshwater sources (i.e., six springs, a well, a surface stream, and a cave stream resurgence) in the karst system of the Runcuri Plateau (KSRP) (Western Romanian Carpathians) during seven sampling campaigns in 2019–2021. We assessed how these natural and anthropogenic factors influenced the water quality based on the European and national standards for drinking water. The geological structure (i.e., tectonics and lithology) of the KSRP was reassessed, and the environmental variables of the freshwater sites were investigated in order to evaluate their impact on the physicochemical profile, the microbial contamination, and on the meiofauna presence. Multivariate statistics were performed to gain insights into the interplay among all these factors and to evaluate the self-purification capacity of the KSRP for chemical and microbial pollutants. The most relevant drivers shaping the microbial content of the freshwater sources were the altitude of the sampling sites, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and air temperature, followed by the physicochemical profile of the waters (i.e., calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, nitrites, nitrates, conductivity, phosphates, total dissolved solids, and iron concentrations). The meiofauna presence was influenced mostly by precipitation, air temperature, and NDVI. Our results reflected the effect of the geological structure and environment on water chemistry and biota assemblages. A pollutant attenuation trend was observed in discharging waters, even though the self-purification capacity of the studied karst system was not statistically supported. More investigations are needed to comprehend the processes developed in the black box of the KSRP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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11 pages, 2946 KiB  
Article
The First Record of Marenzelleria neglecta and the Spread of Laonome xeprovala in the Danube Delta–Black Sea Ecosystem
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060423 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2096
Abstract
Biological invasions can have major impacts on freshwater and marine ecosystems. Therefore, it is vital that non-indigenous species are accurately identified and reported when potential or confirmed invasions occur. The present study reports the first occurrence of Marenzelleria neglecta (Annelida, Spionidae) and the [...] Read more.
Biological invasions can have major impacts on freshwater and marine ecosystems. Therefore, it is vital that non-indigenous species are accurately identified and reported when potential or confirmed invasions occur. The present study reports the first occurrence of Marenzelleria neglecta (Annelida, Spionidae) and the spread of Laonome xeprovala (Annelida, Sabellidae) in the Danube Delta–Black Sea ecosystem. Spionidae is one of the most diverse families of annelid worms and is a dominant group in terms of the number of species that have been introduced to non-native areas, while the members of Sabellidae are among the most visible polychaetes commonly found in fouling communities and are colonizing new geographic areas. Based on 20 samples collected in 2021, we provide an overview of the distribution of the investigated species and possible arrival pathways for Marenzelleria neglecta. Specimens were identified based on morphological descriptions. Both species have invasive behaviour, colonizing large areas in relatively short time periods and reaching relatively high densities (M. neglecta—1400 ind.m−2; L. xeprovala—40 ind.m−2). Due to their distribution and high abundances, the biology and ecology of these species in the Danube River–Danube Delta–Black Sea system need to be investigated further in order to assess their impact on ecosystem structure and functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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17 pages, 2735 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Spring Invertebrates and Their Habitats: A Story of Preferences
Diversity 2022, 14(5), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050367 - 05 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
Springs, as unique ecotonal habitats between surface and hypogean areas, are considered endangered aquatic ecosystems due to direct and indirect human impacts and climate change issues. They are distinctive water habitats that are often inhabited by a diverse but mostly stenotypic group of [...] Read more.
Springs, as unique ecotonal habitats between surface and hypogean areas, are considered endangered aquatic ecosystems due to direct and indirect human impacts and climate change issues. They are distinctive water habitats that are often inhabited by a diverse but mostly stenotypic group of organisms. The present study considered 31 springs from the Apuseni Mountains (the Romanian Carpathians) that were classified as rheocrene, helocrene, and limnocrene based on their geomorphology and hydrology. Samples from three substrate types (rocks, sand, and bryophytes) were collected using standard methods for crenic invertebrates. A total of 64,462 individuals belonging to 17 invertebrate taxa were identified: aquatic worms, mollusks, crustaceans, water mites, and insects. Amphipoda and Diptera–Chironomidae were the dominant taxa in most springs. At a community level, patterns of habitat preference were demonstrated for 12 invertebrate groups using the standardized selection index (B) and expressed as the number of springs where a certain group selected rocks, sand, and/or bryophytes: Four groups exhibited preferences for bryophytes (Coleoptera, Diptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera), Ephemeroptera exhibited preferences for rocks, and Copepoda exhibited preferences for sand. Amphipoda, Platyhelminthes, and Ostracoda displayed preferences for all three substratum types, while Gastropoda, Hydrachnidia, and Oligochaeta recorded lower percentages in springs where habitat preferences were significant. In addition, crenic invertebrates were divided into three guilds, depending on their dispersion abilities in any stage of their life cycle: sedentary (not-winged groups), mobile (winged groups), and ectoparasites (water mites that were able to leave the springs on their winged hosts). Sedentary taxa recorded higher percentages of abundances and habitat preferences towards rocks and sand, while ectoparasites (Hydrachnidia) and the mobile guilds tended to prefer bryophytes. This segregation might be explained by individual adaptations to the particularities of each type of substratum, such as the bodily form of the copepods, which are well suited for sand interstices, a habitat that our data showed that they preferred. Our results represent novel contributions to the knowledge of habitat preferences of spring invertebrates from the Apuseni Mountains, adding value to similar data from the Western Carpathians, the Alps, and the Dinaric region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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20 pages, 3024 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Effects of Phytoplankton Structure on Zooplankton Communities in Different Types of Urban Lakes
Diversity 2022, 14(3), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14030231 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
Urban lakes play important roles in microclimate regulation such as controlling run-off and groundwater recharge, as well as being a source of water supply and a habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Bucharest has a wide variety of water resources [...] Read more.
Urban lakes play important roles in microclimate regulation such as controlling run-off and groundwater recharge, as well as being a source of water supply and a habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Bucharest has a wide variety of water resources where phytoplankton represent the dominant primary producer, the defining biological factor for zooplankton development. Our hypothesis was that as a result of anthropogenic pressures, phytoplankton in the urban aquatic ecosystems diminish the qualitative and quantitative capacity to maintain a good health condition with effects on the food web. By the structural features of the phytoplankton and zooplankton communities, the objectives were to determine the changes in diversity in different types of urban lakes, to explore the relationships between communities, and to determine the response of phytoplankton and zooplankton functional groups to the environmental factors. The ecological status assessed by Chlorophyll-a (µL−1) highlights that most of the investigated lakes were eutrophic and hypereutrophic. The phytoplankton were influenced by lake types, seasonal variations and nutrient input. The dominance of the Chlorophyceae, Cyanobacteria and Bacillariophyceae influenced the zooplankton’s development. The rotifers were the most represented in both species richness and abundance in zooplankton, followed by Copepoda young stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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17 pages, 2917 KiB  
Article
Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Are Toxic for the Freshwater Mussel Unio ravoisieri: Evidence from a Multimarker Approach
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120679 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2381
Abstract
The current work investigated the ecotoxicological effects induced by Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs), used at three different concentrations (C1 = 10 μg·L−1, C2 = 100 μg·L−1 and C3 = 1000 μg·L−1) in a laboratory experiment, [...] Read more.
The current work investigated the ecotoxicological effects induced by Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs), used at three different concentrations (C1 = 10 μg·L−1, C2 = 100 μg·L−1 and C3 = 1000 μg·L−1) in a laboratory experiment, on the freshwater mussel Unio ravoisieri. Biochemical analyses of gills and digestive glands revealed a stress-related disruption of the antioxidant system. The catalase activity and the rates of malonedialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide production were significantly higher in both organs following the exposure to TiO2 NPs and was concentration-dependent. In addition, based on the observed changes in acetylcholinesterase activity, it can be concluded that the disturbance threshold for the cholinergic system was less than 1 mg·L−1 of TiO2. Overall, the results suggest that the mussel Unio ravoisieri could be used as a sentinel species in monitoring surveys assessing the environmental impact of metallic nanoparticles in freshwater systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Diversity of Freshwater Invertebrates)
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