Gastropod Assemblages Associated with Habitat Heterogeneity and Hydrological Shifts in Two Shallow Waterbodies

Jasna Lajtner, Anna Kozak, Maria Špoljar, Natalia Kuczyńska-Kippen, Tvrtko Dražina, Mirela Sertić Perić, Ines Tkalčec, Sanja Gottstein, Ivana Zrinščak
2022 Water  
We aimed to determine the effects of water level and habitat heterogeneity on gastropod fauna in the littoral zone, and the differentiation of functional feeding guilds (FFG) of gastropods. Two periods were analyzed: 2012 (low water level, LWL) and 2013 (high water level, HWL) in the littoral zone of two shallow waterbodies (Sutla backwater, NW Croatia). Waterbody S1, covered with Ceratophyllum demersum, was sampled in the macrophyte stands, and the littoral benthal area, while waterbody S2,
more » ... hout macrophytes, was sampled only in the littoral benthal area. It was observed discovered that among the macrophyte stands in S1, gastropods were significantly more abundant during LWL. The same trend was observed in the littoral benthal area of S2. In contrast, gastropod abundance was higher in the littoral benthal area of S1 during HWL. Comparing gastropods in the two waterbodies, the abundance in S1 was ten times higher than in S2. The most abundant species was Gyraulus parvus, which accounted for 51–92% of the gastropods observed among the macrophytes of S1 and 86% in the adjacent benthic zone. Among the FFG groups, grazers (particularly those feeding on gymnamoebae and rotifers) had the largest proportion, followed by shredders feeding on small pieces of macrophytes. In our research, we indicate the important role of microhabitat diversity and submerged macrophytes as a rich food source for gastropods and safe shelter from predators.
doi:10.3390/w14152290 fatcat:n3adhcuabfecni74fvscw7cjlu