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Distribution and ecology of the mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of Flanders (Belgium)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2011

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

A literature survey and the identification of all available collection material resulted in a checklist and distribution maps for the mayflies occurring in Flanders. In addition, the relationship between the occurrence of mayflies and water characteristics was analysed. Of the 32 species that have been recorded, six are now extinct in Flanders (three of which are potamal species), while the majority of the remaining species are rare and their populations are often strongly isolated and therefore extremely vulnerable. Waters with relatively low oxygen levels and high conductivities were characterized by the most tolerant mayfly species Cloeon dipterum and Caenis robusta. However, most other species only occurred at higher oxygen concentrations and lower conductivities and could be separated into two groups. The first group mainly occurred in waters with a high pH and were often restricted to the loamy region or to stagnant waters, while the second group occurred in waters with a lower pH and mainly occurred in the Campine region. For most mayfly species, sustainable populations can only be achieved when their current habitats are adequately protected and, in addition, measures should be taken to connect and enlarge the remaining populations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EDP Sciences, 2011

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