Original paper

Odonate assemblages of running waters in the Upper Guinean forest

Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B. Lempert


In order to describe the assemblages of adult Odonata of running waters in the Upper Guinean forest, 36 sites in Liberia and Ghana were analysed using Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling. Five groups were identified, which correspond with different assemblages in the sequence of habitats from small streams to large rivers. Taxonomically related species demonstrate distinct ecological segregation within this gradient, occupying different sections of running waters, or different microhabitats therein. The balance of sun and shade, resulting from a varying degree of habitat openness, is thought to be an important factor in habitat selection, but it is difficult to distinguish from other factors associated with stream size. Anthropogenic opening of stream habitat (e.g. by deforestation or damming) can downscale the present fauna, i.e. result in the invasion of species of downstream habitats (more open) and the disappearance of upstream (dense forest) species.


odonatawest africaupper guineaghanaliberiaforestrunningwatersassemblageshabitatsindicators.