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J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc., 2006, 25(4):811824 2006 by The North American Benthological Society

Summary: J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc., 2006, 25(4):811824
2006 by The North American Benthological Society
Distribution and potential effects of water beetles in lakes recovering
from acidification
S. E. Arnott1
AND A. B. Jackson2
Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
Y. Alarie3
Department of Biology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3E 2C6
Abstract. Regional acidification of aquatic habitats has caused severe reductions in biodiversity. Reduced
sulfur dioxide emissions over the past several decades have resulted in increased pH and alkalinity in some
areas of North America and Europe. However, biological recovery has lagged behind increases in lake pH.
We propose that acidification-induced changes in predator assemblages can provide biological resistance to
recovery of assemblages in lower trophic levels in lakes. Many recovering lakes remain fishless because of
low colonization rates and, therefore, support a high abundance of macroinvertebrate predators that may
have a large impact on zooplankton community structure. We assessed the distribution of water beetles in
relation to pH and presence/absence of fish in 29 lakes on the Canadian Shield. We found that water beetle
assemblage composition was not related to pH. However, the occurrence of fish was significantly
negatively correlated with water beetle distribution, particularly for the predaceous diving beetle,
Graphoderus liberus. Mesocosm experiments in Swan Lake, a fishless lake recovering from acidification,


Source: Arnott, Shelley - Department of Biology, Queen's University (Kingston)


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine