Terrace springs: habitat haven for macrobenthic fauna in the lower plain of the River Ticino (Lombardy, Northern Italy)

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Renato Sconfietti
India Pesci
Daniele Paganelli *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Daniele Paganelli | daniele.paganelli@unipv.it

Abstract

Springs are important environments between hypogean and epigean habitats; the interaction between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is an important factor for their biotic communities. We investigated the ecology of the macrobenthic community of two lowland springs in the River Ticino valley, focusing on the autoecology of some relevant species and on the role of springs as hotspots of biodiversity in an area threatened by anthropogenic pressure. We collected 26 taxa in total: diptera (8), trichoptera (6), gastropods (5), coleoptera (2), crustacea (2), lumbricidae (1), odonata (1), plathelminthes (1). Some of them are stenothermal and oligotrophic species thus quite unusual for a flood plain area characterized by intensive agricultural activities. In conclusion, our study highlights the importance of lowland springs in conserving some habitat-selective macrobenthic species.


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