Eur. J. Entomol. 112 (1): 106-113, 2015 | 10.14411/eje.2015.006

Spatial ecology of Hydropsyche incognita (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae) in the Carpathians

Mãlina PĪRVU1,2, Claudia ZAHARIA3, Alina SATMARI4, Lucian PĀRVULESCU1
1 Department of Biology-Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Biology, Geography, West University of Timișoara, Timișoara, Romania; e-mails: malina.pirvu@e-uvt.ro; lucian.parvulescu@e-uvt.ro
2 Department of Systems Ecology and Sustainability, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
3 Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, West University of Timișoara, Timișoara, Romania; e-mail: czaharia@math.uvt.ro
4 Department of Geography, Faculty of Chemistry, Biology, Geography, West University of Timișoara, Timișoara, Romania; e-mail: alina.satmari@cbg.uvt.ro

Caddisflies are often used in studies on freshwater ecosystem ecology because of their aquatic-dependent larvae. The present study addresses the ecological affinities of larvae of Hydropsyche incognita in terms of the pattern of distribution of this species in the Romanian Carpathians using a boosted regression trees (BRT) model. A population cluster located in the western Romanian Carpathians was identified by the spatial analysis. The statistical model revealed that this species prefers a neutral to low-alkaline pH, high levels of dissolved oxygen, low conductivity, fast flowing water, moderate sized rivers at an altitude below 600 m a.s.l. and low concentrations of organic pollutants. An eastward decrease in the frequency of H. incognita populations was recorded along rivers in the Carpathians. The predictions derived from the BRT model on sites outside the population cluster suggest that many locations in the central and eastern Romanian Carpathians are suitable for H. incognita. However, this species was found at only a few of these locations. In contrast, some populations in this area were found in habitats predicted as unsuitable. There are several possible explanations of this, one of which is random dispersion of the species by flying adults.

Keywords: Trichoptera, Hydropsychidae, Hydropsyche incognita, ecological preferences, spatial analysis, species distribution modelling

Received: February 23, 2014; Accepted: June 20, 2014; Prepublished online: October 16, 2014; Published: January 25, 2015

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