Exploiting and exploring diversity of aquatic ecosystem models: a community perspective
- ABG Jansson, GB Arhonditis, A Beuson, K. Bolding
- Aquatic Ecology
Water resources especially lotic ecosystems drain diverse landscapes with their peculiar climatic regime, making them extremely diverse in terms of establishment of complex network of biotic communities, one such component are benthic macroinvertebrates or zoobenthos which are integral components of freshwater systems. They are represented by insects, molluscans, crustaceans, annelids and nematodes. Physical environment determines the patterns in the distribution and abundance of species over broad scales, while the relative importance of biotic factors (e.g. competition and predation) is thought to be greater thereby determinant of species diversity. Ecologists have recognized their utility in biological monitoring, the benthic community is dependent on its surrounding, and therefore it serves as an indicator that reflects the overall condition of the ecosystem. Thus, their use as bio-monitoring agents (unlike chemical data) depicts long-term environmental stresses as they have a broad spectrum of taxa-specific responses to varying levels of pollution. This paper highlights the importance of benthic invertebrate community in aquatic food web thereby making them one of the key organisms being used in biological monitoring studies.