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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

The effects of catchment land-use, near-stream vegetation, and river hydromorphology on benthic macro invertebrate communities in a south-Swedish catchment

Sandin, Leonard


The Ema river catchment in South eastern Sweden has been inventoried for habitat quality (using the Swedish biotope inventory method) along large parts of its Course. Benthic macroinvertebrate samples have also been taken at 14 wadable stream sites within the catchment. Here, I quantified the relationship among catchment hand-Use, near-stream (surrounding area and riparian zone) vegetation, and in-stream hydromorphological variables and also between these variables and benthic macroinvertebrate community composition. Land-use near-stream wits the best predictor of variation in the in-stream hydromorphology (explaining 81.4% of the variation), whereas the catchment land-use explained 22.8% of the variation ill the near-stream zone and 36.7% of the variation in the in-stream hydromorphology. The benthic macroinvertebrate community composition wits most strongly related to the near-stream (Surrounding area and riparian zone) vegetation explaining 57.9% of the lotic macroinvertebrate variation, whereas catchment land-use explained 53.0% of the variation in the biota, and in-stream habitat features explained 40.0%. The scale at which a system is observed is important when determining which factor is/are influencing the Structure of the ecosystem. The near-stream characteristics were slightly more related in my study to the community composition of the biota than any of the habitat variables were related to (present day) land-use ill the catchment. These results imply that the use of a hierarchical organization to manage, assess and predict lotic biotic community process and patterns will enhance both understanding and scientific development in running waters.


benthic macroinvertebrates; catchnient land-use; hydrornorphology; running water; spatial scale

Published in

Fundamental and Applied Limnology
2009, volume: 174, number: 1, pages: 75-87

Authors' information

Sandin, Leonard
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

Associated SLU-program

Lakes and watercourses

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

Publication Identifiers


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