Diversity and distribution patterns of benthic insects in streams of the Aurès arid region (NE Algeria)

Fayssal Ghougali, Abdelkrim Si Bachir, Nassima Chaabane, Imen Brik, Rachid Ait Medjber, Abdelhak Rouabah

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Fayssal Ghougali (fayssalghougali@outlook.com)
DOI: 10.2478/ohs-2019-0004
Received: March 13, 2018
Accepted: July 09, 2018
Full text: here

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to document the knowledge about the biodiversity of benthic insect communities and their distribution patterns in the semi-arid bioclimatic stage in the streams of the Aurès Region (NE Algeria). The distribution patterns of communities were analyzed in relation to some environmental factors: physicochemical water parameters and global habitat characteristics, including human impact. The taxonomic biodiversity of six sampled streams (wadis) comprises 42 insect taxa, belonging to seven orders and 30 families, of which Coleoptera is the most diverse order (15 taxa), whereas Diptera, Trichoptera and Ephemeroptera dominate in terms of abundance. The human impact, flow velocity and some quality parameters of water (potential of hydrogen, nitrite, concentration of orthophosphates and conductivity) were identified as the most influential environmental variables, which allows the prediction of taxonomic diversity indicators. The classification and regression tree analysis (CART) for benthic insects shows the effect of environmental variables (habitat parameters and human impact in the arid region) on the diversity and distribution of insect orders. The RDA analysis showed that altitude, substrate type, human impact and physicochemical parameters of water (pH, flow velocity, conductivity and total dissolved solids) are the most important predictor variables that play an important role in the distribution patterns of benthic insects.

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