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The function of seasonal habitat shifts in two congeneric mayflies in a boreal river
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Studies in Biology and Environmental Sciences.
1988 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Unregulated North Swedish rivers show large seasonal variations in their physical characteristics. During winter the whole littoral zone freezes solid, and in spring the water flow increases rapidly and the same areas become flooded. The two mayflies Parameletus chelifer and P. minor are common in the North Swedish river Vindelälven. They probably pass through a dormant egg stage in its mid-stream section. The first tiny nymphs appeared in January to March, but they did not become abundant until the ice broke up in May. At this time they migrated rapidly to the flooded upper littoral, some continuing into the tributaries. During  the migration phase, both species used chemoreception to orient themselves towards the flooded areas. The shoreward migration allowed the nymphs to avoid high current velocity, and to utilize unexploited food resources. The two species differed with respect to utilization of the upper littoral. Most Parameletus chelifer nymphs colo­nized a seasonal stream, while the P. minor nymphs were equally abundant at the river margin as in a seasonal stream. Both temperature and food quality differed between the river margin and the seasonal stream. Compared to P. minor specimens, those of Parameletus chelifer showed a somewhat higher optimum tempe­rature, and they gained advantage of the higher food quality observed in the seasonal stream. Parameletus chelifer specimens colonizing a seasonal stream had higher growth rate, higher fecundity, and probably also advanced emergence as well as larger adult size compared with those remaining at the river margin. In addition mortality from fish predation may be lowered by utilizing shallow seasonal streams. Specimens of P. minor had higher growth rate, larger adult size and advanced emergence in the seasonal stream compared with those at the river margin. Nevertheless, fecundity was equal in both habitats and the mortality caused by predation seemed almost similar in both habitats. In most years Parameletus chelifer specimens utilizing the seasonal stream thus obtain a higher fitness than those utilizing the river margin. In P. minor this diffe­rence was not so pronounced. However, due to mortality risks caused by an early desiccation of the seasonal stream, the long-term reproductive output of the two species probably varies irregularly in the two habitats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1988. , p. 16
Keywords [en]
Habitat utilization, diel activity, orientation, predation, life-history, temperature, food quality, mayflies, Parameletus chelifer, Parameletus minor
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141169ISBN: 91-7174-323-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141169DiVA, id: diva2:1152906
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digitalisering@umuAvailable from: 2017-10-26 Created: 2017-10-26 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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