Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
https://actalb.org/article/doi/10.1590/S2179-975X2323
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Agriculture affects functional diversity of aquatic insects in Subtropical Atlantic Forest streams

Agricultura afeta a diversidade funcional de insetos aquáticos em riachos Subtropicais de Mata Atlântica

Luiz Ubiratan Hepp; Silvia Vendruscolo Milesi; Rayana Caroline Picolotto; Vanderlei Secretti Decian; Rozane Maria Restello; Julio Serrano Huiñocana; Edélti Faria Albertoni

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Abstract

Aim: We evaluated the effects of native vegetation and agricultural activities on functional characteristics of aquatic insects’ assemblages in Atlantic Forest streams southern Brazil.

Methods: We collected information on land uses, riparian zone structural characteristics, and limnological variables of ten streams to characterize their environmental quality. In the same streams, we collected aquatic insects (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera) and determined their functional characteristics (e.g. food habits, mobility, shape, and body size). The information for each trait category was quantified using a fuzzy code technique. To test the environmental conditions on aquatic insect functional attributes, we used an RLQ analysis.

Results: In our study, only five environmental variables showed variation in streams (temperature, pH, DO, native vegetation, and agriculture use). We collected a total of 2591 organisms distributed in 21 EPT genera. We observed that the functional attributes of EPT formed distinct groups in relation to the stream categories defined by the measured environmental variables. We observed that shredders and larger and flattened organisms were associated with natural streams. These attributes were associated with the genera Phylloicus, Anacroneuria, Tupiperla, and Farrodes. On the other hand, we observed greater proportions of scrapers, with spherical bodies and shelter builders in streams impacted by agriculture. The most frequent genera in these streams were Itaura, Wormaldia and Helicopsyche.

Conclusions: The modification of natural landscapes by agricultural areas caused significant functional changes in the aquatic invertebrate communities. Since aquatic insects participate effectively in ecological processes, alterations in the functional characteristics of these communities can cause changes in the streams’ functioning.

Keywords

biological traits, environmental quality, ecological integrity

Resumo

Objetivo: Neste estudo avaliamos os efeitos da vegetação nativa e atividades agrícolas sobre as características funcionais de assembleias de insetos aquáticos em riachos de Mata Atlântica, sul do Brasil.

Métodos: Coletamos informações sobre usos do solo, características estruturais da zona ripária e variáveis limnológicas de dez córregos para caracterizar sua qualidade ambiental. Nos mesmos riachos coletamos insetos aquáticos (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera e Trichoptera) e determinamos as características funcionais (e.g., hábitos alimentares, mobilidade, forma, tamanho do corpo). A informação para cada categoria de característica foi quantificada usando uma técnica de código fuzzy. Para testar as condições ambientais nos atributos funcionais de insetos aquáticos, utilizamos uma análise RLQ.

Resultados: Em nosso estudo, apenas cinco variáveis ambientais apresentaram variação entre os riachos (temperatura, pH, DO, vegetação nativa, uso agrícola). Coletamos um total de 2591 organismos distribuídos em 21 gêneros das ordens EPT. Observamos que os atributos funcionais do EPT formaram grupos distintos em relação às categorias de riachos definidas pelas medidas das variáveis ambientais. Observamos que fragmentadores e organismos maiores e achatados estiveram associados a riachos naturais. Esses atributos foram associados aos gêneros Phylloicus, Anacroneuria, Tupiperla e Farrodes. Por outro lado, em riachos impactados pela agricultura, observamos maiores proporções de raspadores, com corpos esféricos e construtores de abrigos. Nesses riachos, os gêneros mais frequentes foram Itaura, Wormaldia e Helicopsyche.

Conclusões: A modificação das paisagens naturais por áreas agrícolas causou mudanças funcionais significativas nas comunidades de invertebrados aquáticos. Como os insetos aquáticos participam efetivamente dos processos ecológicos, alterações nas características funcionais dessas comunidades podem causar mudanças no funcionamento dos riachos.

Palavras-chave

características biológicas, qualidade ambiental, integridade ecológica

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Submitted date:
03/27/2023

Accepted date:
10/17/2023

Publication date:
11/17/2023

6557b2b8a953956b39165943 alb Articles
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