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A quantitative investigation into the temporal and spatial variations in the emergence of adult blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) from the Breitenbach, a small upland stream in Germany

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56880

Reidelbach,  Joachim
Limnological River Station Schlitz, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56631

Christl,  Heino
Limnological River Station Schlitz, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Reidelbach, J., & Christl, H. (2002). A quantitative investigation into the temporal and spatial variations in the emergence of adult blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) from the Breitenbach, a small upland stream in Germany. Limnologica, 32(3), 206-235.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-C804-6
Abstract
As a contribution to the long-term emergence studies carried out as part of the "Breitenbach ecosystem project", this paper presents the results obtained on emergence patterns and population dynamics of blackflies from 1984 to 1988. The Breitenbach is a small first order stream near Schlitz/Hesse, running into the Fulda river. Adult blackflies were caught in 4 greenhouse emergence traps, each spanning the whole width of the stream for a length of 6 m. A manual and then a partly automated method for collecting trapped insects was applied for three years and one year, respectively. Sixteen blackfly- species of different origin were found in the traps: a) autochthonous species: Prosimulium tomosvaryi, Simulium vernum s.1., S. cryophilum s.1., S. ornatum s.1. (common); S. costatum, S. trifasciatum, S. monticola, S. argyreatum (rare); b) species of doubtful origin: S. lundstromi, S. angustitarse, S. angustipes, S. aureum (very rare); c) allochthonous species: S. lineatum, S. equinum, S. erythrocephalum, S. noelleri. It was shown that the last 4 species had not emerged from the Breitenbach but had flown into the traps as adults. In addition, females of autochthonous species with blood or with mature eggs were trapped, which were also considered to have flown in. Besides revealing a limitation of the trap construction, they supported the detailed interpretation of some intricated patterns of appearance. Variations in emergence patterns and specimen numbers between years and traps were pronounced, but only in a few cases could they be attributed to changes in abiotic factors such as water temperature or discharge. P. tomosvaryi had the most simple and regular life cycle, with one well synchronised emergence peak annually from April to May (or even to June). No gradient of specimen numbers along the stream was evident. The two closely related species S. vernum and S. cryophilum had quite similar emergence patterns: There were two broad peaks per year, extending mainly from March to June and from July to October or November. In some cases the number and separation of consecutive generations was not clear. The abundance of both species clearly decreased downstream, more so for S. cryophilum than for S. vernum. In a trap closest to a tributary spring, S. cryophilum was the dominant species during three of the four years examined. The adults of S. omatum displayed an intricate pattern of appearance, with very low specimen numbers in spring and medium to very high numbers in July/August and September/October. S. ornatum is the only blackfly species that inhabits both the Breitenbach and the adjacent section of the Fulda river. It was shown that females emerging from the Fulda river regularly invade the Breitenbach valley in greatly varying numbers and oviposit there. This leads to overlapping larval cohorts with corresponding emergence peaks. Although S. ornatum was the most abundant species in one year in the lower traps (60 to 80% of all individuals), it remains uncertain whether it is a long- term, permanent member of the autochthonous blackfly fauna of the Breitenbach. Estimates of total numbers of flown-in adults, actual emergence, dry weight biomass, the ecological separation of the species and their life cycle strategies are discussed.