CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Invertebrate Systematics   
Invertebrate Systematics
Journal Banner
  Systematics, Phylogeny and Biogeography
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

red arrow Supplementary Series
blank image
All volumes of the Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series are online.


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(2)

Biodiversity, functional roles and ecosystem services of groundwater invertebrates

Andrew J. Boulton A D, Graham D. Fenwick B, Peter J. Hancock A, Mark S. Harvey C

A Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2350, Australia.
B National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 8602, Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand.
C Department of Terrestrial Invertebrates, Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool DC, Western Australia 6986, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: aboulton@une.edu.au
 Full Text
 PDF (493 KB)
 Export Citation


Recent surveys of groundwater invertebrates (stygofauna) worldwide are yielding rich troves of biodiversity, with significant implications for invertebrate systematists and phylogeneticists as well as ecologists and groundwater managers. What is the ecological significance of this high biodiversity of invertebrates in some aquifers? How might it influence groundwater ecosystem services such as water purification or bioremediation? In terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity is typically positively correlated with rates of ecosystem functions beneficial to humans (e.g. crop pollination). However, the links between biodiversity, ecosystem function, and ecosystem services in groundwater are unknown. In some aquifers, feeding, movement and excretion by diverse assemblages of stygofauna potentially enhance groundwater ecosystem services such as water purification, bioremediation and water infiltration. Further, as specific taxa apparently play ‘keystone’ roles in facilitating ecosystem services, declines in abundance or even their extinction have serious repercussions. One way to assess the functional significance of biodiversity is to identify ‘ecosystem service providers’, characterise their functional relationships, determine how service provision is affected by community structure and environmental variables, and measure the spatio-temporal scales over which these operate. Examples from Australian and New Zealand alluvial aquifers reveal knowledge gaps in understanding the functional importance of most stygofauna, hampering effective protection of currently undervalued groundwater ecosystem services.

Keywords: aquifers, biodiversity, ecosystem goods and services, functional structure, groundwater management, stygofauna.

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2014