Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Groynes: a factor modifying the occurrence of dragonfly larvae (Odonata) on a large lowland river

P. Buczyński A E , A. Szlauer-Łukaszewska B , G. Tończyk C and E. Buczyńska D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Zoology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Ulica Akademicka 19, PO-20-033 Lublin, Poland.

B Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Limnology, University of Szczecin, Ulica Wąska 13, PO-71-415 Szczecin, Poland.

C Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, University of Łódź, Ulica Banacha 12/16, PO-90-237 Łódź, Poland.

D Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology and Wildlife Management, University of Life Sciences, Ulica Akademicka 13, PO-20-033 Lublin, Poland.

E Corresponding author. Email: pawbucz@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16217
Submitted: 16 June 2016  Accepted: 22 November 2016   Published online: 1 February 2017

Abstract

The regulation of rivers and their valleys has had a strong, negative influence on the maintenance of their original biota. Nevertheless, some hydro-engineering works conducted along already regulated rivers may be beneficial, creating habitats for endangered species and assemblages. Such works include the construction of groynes. We analysed this effect on the occurrence of dragonfly larvae along middle and lower stretches of the Oder, where groynes were built over a distance of 306 km, creating an area of uniform habitat. We demonstrated that the presence of groynes increased not only the abundance of dragonfly larvae, but also the species richness and diversity of these insects. Habitats were recreated for assemblages typical of a river with highly diverse habitat conditions, from typically riverine assemblages to those occurring in oxbow lakes, also endangered by regulations. The fauna along the stretches with groynes was richer and more valuable than that along the stretches without groynes, achieving values approaching those obtained from modelled unregulated rivers. This can be put down to greater habitat heterogeneity and groyne-reduced levels of waves produced by ships. The presence of groynes provides the key to the restoration or stabilisation of the populations of certain species and to renaturalisation processes.

Additional keywords: biodiversity, large river, modification, species distribution.


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