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Bathymetric distribution of chironomid larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) in Lake Saiko, Japan

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The distribution of benthic macroinvertebrate on 8 March 2009 was studied in Lake Saiko (73.2 m maximum depth). The average density of the benthic community for the entire lake was 19 583 individuals m−2, being comprised of oligochaetes and chironomid larvae, with densities of 18 163 (92.8%) and 1274 (6.5%), respectively. The average wet weights of oligochaetes and chironomid larvae were 15.96 and 1.67 g m−2, respectively. The oligochaetes inhabited the entire lake bottom, with their densities being higher in the transitional region (20–40 m) and deeper region (>40 m) than in the shallower region. However, the densities of chironomid larvae were low in the deeper region (>40 m), with only a few chironomid larvae being found in the centre of the lake (>60 m). The most abundant species (Micropsectra chuzeprima) exhibited the widest distribution (from 10.1 to 65.5 m depth), followed by Polypedilum nubeculosum. The results of this study also were compared to previous data on oligochaetes and chironomid larvae reported by Kitagawa (1973). The density of these animals increased throughout the whole lake in 2009. However, the chironomid species compositions did not changed. The larval distribution pattern of chironomid changed since Kitagawa’s study, being distributed from 11 to 68 m in 1973. In contrast, almost all chironomid larvae were found in the transitional (e.g. M.¬†chuzeprima) and shallower (e.g. Procladius¬†choreus and P.¬†nubeculosum) regions in 2009, with only a few individuals being observed in the deeper regions (>60 m). In contrast, the oligochaete density increased in the deeper regions. Large environmental changes must have affected the oligochaetes and chironomids densities, especially in the deeper regions with low dissolved oxygen concentrations. Consequently, the distribution pattern of oligochaetes and chironomids in the lake has changed. These study findings suggest the lake is experiencing increasing eutrophication.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Applied Biology, Shinshu University, Nagano 2: Yamanashi Institute for Public Health, Kofu 3: Yamanashi Prefectural University, Kofu, 4: University of Yamanashi, Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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