Macroinvertebrates as indicators in tropical streams with different land use in southern Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the countries with the highest species richness worldwide and forms an important land bridge between North and South America. In the past, Costa Rica suffered from deforestation due to conversion of primary forests into plantations or pastures, which caused degradation and destr...

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Main Authors: Duschek, Verena G., Springer Springer, Monika, Niedrist, Georg H., Füreder, Leopold
Format: artículo científico
Language: Inglés
Published: 2020
Subjects:
Online Access: https://www.univie.ac.at/zoobot/wordpress/?page_id=1930
https://hdl.handle.net/10669/80401
Summary: Costa Rica is one of the countries with the highest species richness worldwide and forms an important land bridge between North and South America. In the past, Costa Rica suffered from deforestation due to conversion of primary forests into plantations or pastures, which caused degradation and destruction of natural habitats. To evaluate the potential influence of anthropogenic land use on tropical river ecosystems, we compared macroinvertebrate assemblages of forested and impacted reaches of three rivers near the Tropical Field Station La Gamba. Water quality was evaluated with the BMWP-CR index, which resulted in excellent water quality for both forest sites and impacted sites. Nevertheless, the effects of land use and deforestation were apparent in the latter, as evidenced by high abundances of only few taxa, such as chironomids and oligochaete worms, and low macroinvertebrate diversity. Our results indicate that intact riparian vegetation reduces the impact of anthropogenic influence significantly and should be established to avoid ongoing stream degradation.