Headwater macroinvertebrate species diversity data from Silver River, Camcor River, Faurawn River, Republic of Ireland

Published: 7 October 2020| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/vs3bm2vn95.3
owhonda Ihunwo


This research is designed to assess the contribution of headwaters to stream macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Hypothesis: 1- There is a significant increase in the species richness and diversity from headwater streams to the second and third-order streams. 2- There are unique species present in headwater streams that are not present in the second and third-order streams. 3- There is a difference in biodiversity at each point of the river i.e. headwater, 3km and 6km downstream essence of conservation and monitoring. A total of 39 species were found in the study, of which; Ephemeroptera species present in the rivers were 12 in number, 13 Plecoptera and 14 Trichoptera (7 cased and 7 uncased) species were also found. The most abundant species of Ephemeroptera were the Baetis species. Baetis rhodani (Pictet) was the most abundant species present with a total number of 347 individuals (6, 236 and 105 in Silver River, Camcor River and Faurawn River respectively), followed by Baetis vernus (Eaton) with a total abundance of 128 and Baetis scambus (Eaton) with a total abundance of 50. Leuctra inermis (Kempny) was the most abundant Plecoptera species found with a total species abundance of 25. Fewer individuals of Tricoptera was found with Silo nigricornis (Pictet) having the highest representation of a total of 5 individuals. Some species existed exclusively in the headwater samples such as Electrogena lateralis (Curtis), Baetis scambus (Eaton), Baetis vernus (Eaton), Leuctra inermis (Kempny), Amphinemura sulcicollis (Stephens) and a few others. Electrogena lateralis (Curtis), Diura bicaudata (Linnaeus), Brachyptera risi (Morton), Nemoura avicularis (Morton) and Protonemura meyeri (Pictet) were identified only in Camcor River. Three individuals of Rhyacophila munda (McLachan) were found in the Silver River headwater samples alone while Potamophylax cingulatus (Stephen) and Potamophylax latipennis (Curtis) were found only in the headwater samples from Faurawn River. Serratella ignita (Poda) was the most abundant species that existed in both 3km and 6km points on the rivers with a total of 685 individuals at 3km and 612 individuals at 6km. Rhithrogena semicolorata (Curtis) was another Ephemeroptera with a high total abundance of 81 and 77 at 3km and 6km respectively. Baetis rhodani (Pictet) also had high representation with a total of 75 individuals at 3km and 6km respectively. Plecoptera species were not so represented within these points in comparison to the Ephemeroptera, Leuctra hippopus (Kempny) was the most abundant Plecoptera species with a total abundance of 35 and 11 at 3km and 6kn respectively. Polycentropus flavomaculatus (Pictet) and Beraeodes minutus (Linnaeus) were species that existed only at 3km but not at 6km or headwater samples.


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Sampling Method To test the hypotheses posed earlier, three sampling points were chosen from each river; with the second point at 1.5km, 3km and 6km from the source (Fig. 2 above). Samples were collected in June of 2014. The method used for sampling is a refined kick sampling strategy for the bioassessment of benthic macroinvertebrates in headwater streams by [3]. This method involves 20- second kick sampling in the collection of five (5) replicates. Research involving the development of this method showed that this method recoded similar metric scores as the 60- second kick sampling except for taxonomic richness [3]. Samples were collected with the use of a standard Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) kick-net (230 x 225 mm frame). Macroinvertebrates were sorted out of each sample and identification to species level was done for Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera. This will enable the assessment of species richness and abundance of EPT.


University College Dublin


Aquatic Ecology