Original paper

Macroinvertebrate assemblages of a high elevation stream/lake network with an emphasis on the Chironomidae

Robinson, Christopher T.; Hieber, Mä ggi; Wenzelides, Verena; Lods-Crozet, Brigitte

Abstract

Macroinvertebrate assemblages of inlet and outlet streams were examined in a high elevation cirque comprising two basins in the Swiss Alps. Average taxon richness, with chironomids included as a single taxon, was 10 % of the assemblage at most sites. Chironomid abundance typically was higher in outlets than inlets. An exception was Diamesa zernyi/cinerella, which had greater relative abundances in inlets (24 %) than outlets (6 %). The results suggest that alpine macroinvertebrates, chironomids in particular, are sensitive to subtle differences in habitat conditions and may thus make good sentinels of environmental change to alpine waters.

Keywords

swiss national parkdiamesinaeorthocladiinaealpinelake outletlake inlet