Uncertainty of using habitat fidelity in biomonitoring based on benthic diatoms - the Raška River case study

Research paper by Danijela P. Vidaković, Sanja S. Radovanović, Dragana D. Predojević, Sanja I. Šovran, Ivana M. Živić, Katarina Z. Stojanović, Jelena Ž. Krizmanić

Indexed on: 30 Aug '18Published on: 29 Aug '18Published in: Biologia


Epilithic diatoms are frequently recommended for river biomonitoring, while much less emphasis is placed on epiphytic communities. This study considers use of epiphytic and epilithic diatom communities from the Raška River in biomonitoring. A total of 212 diatom taxa were recorded in both communities. Dominant diatoms were Achnanthidium minutissimum (Kützing) Czarnecki, A. affine (Grunow) Czarnecki, A. subatomus (Hustedt) Lange-Bertalot, Amphora pediculus (Kützing) Grunow, Diatoma vulgaris Bory, Gomphonema tergestinum (Grunow) Fricke, Cocconeis placentula var. lineata (Ehrenberg) Van Heurck, Melosira varians Agardh and Navicula tripunctata (Müller) Bory. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to detect the relationships between diatoms, some environmental factors and sampling sites. Diatoms of the epiphytic community showed a clearly grouping in relation to the sampling sites as compared with diatoms of the epilithic community. Species common to both communities showed a similar correlation with some environmental variables (BOD, pH, NH4+, TP, NO3− and conductivity), with three exceptions (Diatoma vulgaris, Cymbella compacta, and Encyonema silesiacum). Pearson’s correlation coefficient showed correlation between selected environmental variables and diatom indices calculated using OMNIDIA 6.2 software (TDI, IPS, CEE, GENRE, TID, SID, SHE and IDSE/5). Diatoms of the epiphytic community are more clearly clustered in relation to the sampling sites as compared with diatoms of the epilithic community. According to our results there is still “place” in biomonitoring for epiphytic community. The present study highlights the necessity of sampling both epiphytic and epilithic communities because substrate specificity could play important role in biomonitoring.