Original paper

Factors affecting the distribution of Oligochaeta in small high mountain ponds (Tatra Mts, Poland)

Dumnicka, Elzbieta; Galas, Joanna


The Oligochaeta communities of six small high mountain ponds were examined. A total of only 17 taxa were found. In temporary ponds and in ponds that freeze to the bottom in winter the community consisted almost exclusively of Enchytraeidae, of which Cernosvitoviella tatrensis was the most numerous species. In other ponds the community composition was more diverse, and the dominant species were Spirosoperma ferox and Nais variabilis. In one of the studied ponds (the Siwy Wyżni) where the water level was stable, there were differences in species composition among various sampling locations. These differences persisted in successive years and the probable reason for that was the presence of springs which led to varying chemical and thermal conditions. The content of organic matter in the mud sediment of the studied ponds was high, varying from 10-30 % in most ponds and was high as 50 % in one dystrophic pond. Correlations between total Oligochaeta density, or density of the dominant species, and sediment organic matter content were not statistically significant. Among the oligochaete species living in the mountain ponds four ecological types were distinguished.


species compositionalpine pondswater chemistrysediment organic matter content