Response of Small-Stream Biota to Sudden Flow Pulses Following Extreme Precipitation Events
Zdeněk Adámek1, Jana Konečná2, Jana Podhrázská2, Lucie Všetičková3, Zdeňka Jurajdová3
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1University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, South Bohemian
Research Center of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of Hydrocenoses, Institute of Aquaculture, Husova tř. 458/12, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
2Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Lidická 25/27, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Institute of Vertebrate Biology AS CR, Květná 8, 603 65 Brno, Czech Republic
Submission date: 2014-11-25
Final revision date: 2015-10-15
Acceptance date: 2015-10-15
Publication date: 2016-03-17
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(2):495–501
Extreme discharge rate increases in small streams caused by sudden extreme precipitation events are classifi ed as small-scale pulse-type disturbances. Small highland brooks in agricultural landscapes (arable land and meadows) are frequently characterised by extremely low flows during normal conditions, plus the rare appearance of high-flow events that periodically may reset their ecosystems. We studied two small highland brooks to assess the impact of extreme discharge rates (flow pulses) upon periphyton, macrozoobenthos, and fish assemblages. No distinct changes were recorded in composition of periphyton assemblage or fish (brown trout, Salmo trutta m. fario) occurrence following such flow pulses. Cyanobacteria, however, were absent following a flow pulse, while growth appeared to be boosted in green algae (Chlorophyceae). Similarly, there was no negative response observed in macrozoobenthos communities, with density, diversity, taxa richness, and saprobic indices remaining either more-or-less unchanged or considerably enhanced following high-discharge episodes. These observations were confi rmed through Sörensen’s similarity indices, which indicated no signifi cant change in either periphyton or macrozoobenthos following such episodes.