Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities in Agriculturally Impaired Streams


  • Virginija Pliuraite
  • Liongina Mickėnienė


Streams, macroinvertebrates species richness, pollution


This work presents research into the taxonomic composition of macroinvertebrate communities in streams that are under the influence of agricultural pollution A total of 67 macroinvertebrate taxa (including 61 identified species) belonging to 40 families have been identified in the explored streams. The greatest species richness is recorded for the Trichoptera (18 species/1 taxa) and Mollusca (12 species). The molluscs Gyraulus albus, amphipods Gammarus pulex, caddisflies Hydropsyche pellucidula and oligochaetes are detected in all examined streams. There, the number of total benthic macroinvertebrate taxa is highly variable, ranging from 16 to 40. Results show that the examined streams depending on the benthic macroinvertebrate taxonomic composition and predominance of seperate macroinvertebrate groups undergo different pollution. Intolerant to pollution taxa such as Plecoptera, which are the most sensitive to pollution insects, have been found only in 5 of 12 examined streams and in low abundances. The richness and diversity of macrozoobenthos in some streams appear to respond to the water quality deterioration. The present study has found out that in the stream where the total macroinvertebrate taxa, EPT taxa richness are the lowest and a relative abundance of gatherers is the highest, the values of NH4-N, NO3-N, total N, PO4-P and total P in the stream water are the highest, too.

Author Biography

Virginija Pliuraite

Institute of Ecology of Vilnius university