Revealing the influence of hyporheic water exchange on the composition and abundance of bottom-dwelling macroinvertebrates in a temperate lowland river

Mateusz Grygoruk, Ewelina Szałkiewicz, Maria Grodzka-Łukaszewska, Dorota Mirosław-Świątek, Paweł Oglęcki, Dorota Pusłowska-Tyszewska, Grzegorz Igor Sinicyn, Tomasz Okruszko

We studied distributions and abundances of macroinvertebrates in relation to hyporheic water exchange (HWE) patterns of the upper Biebrza a small, lowland, low dynamic European river located in Northeast Poland. On a 6-km stretch of the river; we determined the variability of water exchange in the hyporheic zone by using direct field measurements of the pressure gradient to determine groundwater-surface water interactions. We identified locations with upwelling and downwelling fluxes of HWE as well as ambiguous hydraulic contact between groundwater and surface water along the river. In these locations, we sampled bottom-dwelling macroinvertebrates. In total, 627 individuals of benthic macroinvertebrates of 34 taxa were identified. We revealed that bottom-dwelling macroinvertebrate fauna is more abundant and diverse in river stretches where water from the river infiltrates the hyporheic zone. Results also show higher taxonomic richness and abundances of benthic macroinvertebrates in stretches with diagnosed infiltrating conditions (downwelling flux in a hyporheic zone) compared to in stretches where the river drained groundwater (upwelling flux in a hyporheic zone), but the recorded differences were not statistically significant.

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