1. We studied vertical and horizontal distribution of macroinvertebrates within a dense stand of Chara spp. in Lake Krankesjön, southern Sweden. Invertebrates were sampled at three depths within the vegetation and at three distances from the vegetation edge during day and night in July and August. Corresponding samples of oxygen content of the water were taken. 2. The densities (number of invertebrates per unit plant biomass) of most invertebrate taxa were generally lower in the upper layers of the vegetation than in the layers close to the sediment. The densities of several taxa (Asellus aquaticus, Cloëon sp. and Polycentropodidae), as well as total density of invertebrates, were higher at the edge than in the innermost parts of the macrophyte stand, whereas snail densities generally were highest at the innermost sites. 3. Densities of A. aquaticus, Chironomidae larvae and Helobdella stagnalis generally increased at night. These taxa appear to undertake a diel vertical migration within the vegetation, towards, or even down to the sediment in daytime and up into the vegetation, in some cases to the vegetation surface, at night. Factors underlying the diel vertical migration are discussed, as are their ecological consequences.
Freshwater Biology – Wiley
Published: Jul 12, 2001
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