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Effects of landscape metrics and land use variables on macroinvertebrate communities and habitat characteristics

Cortes, R.; Varandas, S.; Teixeira, Amílcar; Hughes, Samantha; Magalhães, Marco; Barquín, José; Álvarez-Cabria, Mario; Fernández, Diego
Fonte: Asociación Ibérica de Limnología Publicador: Asociación Ibérica de Limnología
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Relevância na Pesquisa
The growing number of studies establishing links between stream biota, environmental factors and river classification has contributed to a better understanding of fluvial ecosystem function. Environmental factors influencing river systems are distributed over hierarchically organised spatial scales. We used a nested hierarchical sampling design across four catchments to assess how benthic macroinvertebrate community composition and lower spatial scale habitat descriptors were shaped by landscape and land-use patterns. We found that benthic macroinvertebrate community structure and composition varied significantly from catchment to habitat level. We assessed and identified fractal metrics of landscape descriptors capable of explaining compositional and functional change in the benthic faunal indicators and compared them with the traditional variables describing land use and reach level habitat descriptors within a 1 km radius of each sampling site. We found that fractal metrics were the best predictor variables for benthic macroinvertebrate community composition, function, instream habitat and river corridor characteristics.