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Title : Agricultural land use and black fly (Diptera, Simuliidae) species richness and species assemblages in tropical streams, Northeastern Thailand. Hydrobiologia. 625: 173-184
Author : Pramual, P. and Kuvangkadilok,
Year : 2009
Type : Journal
Detail : Abstract Habitat degradation through agricultural land use is the major factor threatening lotic ecosystems. Although black flies are major components of these ecosystems, the impact of agricultural land use on species diversity and species assemblages has been largely ignored in tropical streams of the Oriental region. The objectives of this study are to examine patterns of species distribution and species richness and to compare black fly species richness and species assemblages in forest and agricultural streams in Thailand. A total of 143 collections were made from 70 stream sites between June 2007 and May 2008. Whereas 19 black fly species found in these collections were all found in forest sites, only 13 species were found in agricultural sites. High species richness was associated with larger, faster, and cooler streams with larger streambed particles and the presence of riparian trees. Logistic regression analyses revealed that stream size, velocity, and riparian vegetation are among the most important factors determining patterns of spatial distribution. The results are largely consistent with studies in other zoogeographic regions, suggesting the existence of general rules for black fly species distributions. Comparisons of the physicochemical conditions between forest and agricultural streams indicated that streams in agricultural areas are warmer,with higher conductivity and fewer riparian trees. Species richness was significantly higher in forest than in agricultural streams (t = 3.61, P.001). Streams in forest areas were predominantly occupied by S. siamense (73%) but other species were also found at a relatively high frequency ([20%) of the sampling sites. In contrast, streams in agricultural areas were predominantly occupied by S. aureohirtum ([80%) among the sole black fly species at 27% of the sites. The results indicate that agricultural land use has a significantly detrimental impact on black fly diversity and species assemblages.