Spatio-temporal pattern of the Chironomidae community: toward the use of non-biting midges in bioassessment programs
Authors:Milosević, Đurađ D
Simić, Vladica M
Mancev, Dejan I
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We employed the self-organizing map (SOM) method to investigate the spatio-temporal pattern of the Chironomidae community in the Southern Morava River basin (Serbia) and to examine to what extent the Chironomidae community is affected by environmental factors. Additionally, this study explores the problems of utilizing chironomids in bioassessment programs. The SOM analysis of the chironomid community data produced 3 groups of sites. The indicator species analysis presented indicator taxa for two groups. Twenty taxa (at species, species group and genus level), according to the Kruskal-Wallis test, showed the most pronounced differences among the temporal units. Out of 15 measured environmental parameters, one-way ANOVA pointed out that 10 significantly differ between the groups. Elevation had the most important influence on the chironomid community, also affecting other environmental parameters. According to our findings, the winter season and the periods with high water level are the main sources of natural variability. To avoid such variability and to successfully incorporate Chironomidae in bioassessment programs, we suggest exclusion of the arguable months from monitoring programs.