Print version ISSN 0188-8897
MANCILLA, Gabriela et al. Replacement effect of riparian native vegetation on benthic macroinvertebrates community in temperate climate streams, Central Chile. Hidrobiológica [online]. 2009, vol.19, n.3, pp. 193-203. ISSN 0188-8897.
The organic matter from riparian vegetation is determined by the structure and complexity of streams. It presents a higher energetic input to streams as well as important source of food for macroinvertebrates in head streams. In spite of its importance, riparian landscape has been rapidly degraded by human activity, this affects structure and composition of the aquatic community. The present study was made in Central Chile (Biobio Region) which has intensive forest activity with exotic species. Small streams were selected (< 3 order), because they are very particularly sensitive to changes in land use. The sites were grouped identified according to native forest land cover larger than 20% (group 1) and smaller than 20% (group 2). Significant differences (p< 0.05) in Plecoptera abundance (p < 0.05) were found between the two groups. Differences in trophic groups were significant for shredders and predators increased and gathering-collectors decreased their abundance, with native cover smaller than 20%. This showed the dependent on allochthonous material. The vegetation cover and community parameters correlations showed that Diversity (W) increased with higher percentage of watershed covered by native vegetation and exotic species mix. Results suggest that a buffer conservation area of native riparian vegetation is necessary in streams and rivers in order to maintain the structure and diversity of macroinvertebrates and health of these ecosystems.
Keywords : Macroinvertebrates; riparian vegetation; native forest; exotic plantation.