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      Estudios sobre macroinvertebrados acuáticos en América Latina: avances recientes y direcciones futuras

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          Abstract

          América Latina es una región bastante activa en cuanto a la investigación científica, en particular con respecto al estudio de macroinvertebrados de agua dulce. La presente es una introducción al número especial que incluye proyectos recientes en América Latina. Como parte de esta introducción, realizamos un análisis de la literatura publicada en los últimos 14 años, la cual tiene un aumento continuo en las publicaciones sobre macroinvertebrados. La mayoría de los estudios en el periodo 2000-2013 fueron realizados en Brasil, Colombia, Argentina, y Costa Rica; y se enfocaron en la taxonomía y temas relacionados con la biodiversidad y la distribución. Se observó una tendencia a publicar en revistas de bajo impacto, pero también se encontraron publicaciones de alto impacto. El número especial incluye 18 trabajos de ocho países. Los temas principales fueron ecología e historia natural de los macroinvertebrados acuáticos y su uso en la evaluación de impactos antropogénicos sobre los ecosistemas acuáticos. Usando la revisión y las publicaciones de este suplemento discutimos algunas necesidades de investigación para la región, principalmente: (1) continuar con los estudios taxonómicos, (2) determinar los mecanismos responsables por los cambios en biodiversidad, (3) evaluar el papel de los macroinvertebrados en los procesos ecológicos, (4) llevar los esfuerzos de biomonitoreo más allá de los métodos unimétricos, (5) implementar una visión de ecosistema, y (6) establecer estudios a largo plazo. Este suplemento representa un esfuerzo inicial para mejorar nuestro conocimiento sobre los macroinvertebrados de agua dulce de América Latina.

          Translated abstract

          Studies on Latin American freshwater macroinvertebrates: recent advances and future directions. Latin America is an active scientific research area, in particular with respect to the study of freshwater macroinvertebrates. The present serves as an introduction to a special issue that highlights recent research projects on macroinvertebrates in Latin America. As part of this introduction, we conducted a literature analysis of the last 14 years of publications from the region that highlights the steady increase in publications on macroinvertebrates. Most studies from 2000-2013 were conducted in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Costa Rica, and were focused on taxonomy and different issues related to biodiversity and distribution. There was a tendency for the use of local low-impact journals, but high impact publications were also found. This special issue contributes with 18 studies conducted in eight different countries. Two major topics are covered in the special issue, the ecology and natural history of aquatic macroinvertebrates and their use in the evaluation of anthropogenic impacts to aquatic ecosystems. Based on the literature review and contributions included in the issue, we discuss research needs for the region. Identified needs include: (1) to continue emphasizing taxonomic research, (2) assess mechanisms responsible for changes in biodiversity, (3) assess the role of macroinvertebrates in ecosystem processes and function, (4) improve biomonitoring efforts beyond unimetric indices, (5) the need for an ecosystem perspective, and (6) establishing long-term studies. This special issue is an initial effort to advance our knowledge on freshwater macroinvertebrates in Latin America. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 2): 9-20. Epub 2014 April 01.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Functional feeding groups of aquatic insect families in Latin America: a critical analysis and review of existing literature

          Aquatic macroinvertebrates are involved in numerous processes within aquatic ecosystems. They often have important effects on ecosystem processes such as primary production (via grazing), detritus breakdown, and nutrient mineralization and downstream spiraling. The functional feeding groups (FFG) classification was developed as a tool to facilitate the incorporation of macroinvertebrates in studies of aquatic ecosystems. This classification has the advantage of combining morphological characteristics (e.g., mouth part specialization) and behavioral mechanisms (e.g., way of feeding) used by macroinvertebrates when consuming resources. Although recent efforts have greatly advanced our ability to identify aquatic macroinvertebrates, there is limited information on FFG assignment. Furthermore, there has been some variation in the use of the FFG classification, in part due to an emphasis on using gut content analysis to assign FFG, which is more appropriate for assigning trophic guilds. Thus, the main goals of this study are to (1) provide an overview of the value of using the FFG classification, (2) make an initial attempt to summarize available information on FFG for aquatic insects in Latin America, and (3) provide general guidelines on how to assign organisms to their FFGs. FFGs are intended to reflect the potential effects of organisms in their ecosystems and the way they consume resources. Groups include scrapers that consume resources that grow attached to the substrate by removing them with their mouth parts; shredders that cut or chew pieces of living or dead plant material, including all plant parts like leaves and wood; collectors-gatherers that use modified mouth parts to sieve or collect small particles (< 1 mm) accumulated on the stream bottom; filterers that have special adaptations to remove particles directly from the water column; and predators that consume other organisms using different strategies to capture them. In addition, we provide details on piercers that feed on vascular plants by cutting or piercing the tissue using sharp or chewing mouth parts and consume plant liquids. We also provide a list of families of aquatic insects in Latin America, with an initial assignment to FFGs. We recommended caution when assigning FFGs based on gut contents, as it can provide misleading information. Overall, FFG is a very useful tool to understand the role of aquatic macroinvertebrates in stream ecosystems and comparisons among studies will benefit from consistency in their use.
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            The Andean Biotic Index (ABI): revised tolerance to pollution values for macroinvertebrate families and index performance evaluation

            Score-based biotic indices are widely used to evaluate the water quality of streams and rivers. Few adaptations of these indices have been done for South America because there is a lack of knowledge on macroinvertebrate taxonomy, distribution and tolerance to pollution in the region. Several areas in the Andes are densely populated and there is need for methods to assess the impact of increasing human pressures on aquatic ecosystems. Considering the unique ecological and geographical features of the Andes, macroinvertebrate indices used in other regions must be adapted with caution. Here we present a review of the literature on macroinvertebrate distribution and tolerance to pollution in Andean areas above 2 000masl. Using these data, we propose an Andean Biotic Index (ABI), which is based on the BMWP index. In general, ABI includes fewer macroinvertebrate families than in other regions of the world where the BMWP index has been applied because altitude restricts the distribution of several families. Our review shows that in the high Andes, the tolerance of several macroinvertebrate families to pollution differs from those reported in other areas. We tested the ABI index in two basins in Ecuador and Peru, and compared it to other BMWP adaptations using the reference condition approach. The ABI index is extremely useful for detecting the general impairment of rivers but class quality boundaries should be defined independently for each basin because reference conditions may be different. The ABI is widely used in Ecuador and Peru, with high correlations with land-use pressures in several studies. The ABI index is an integral part of the new multimetric index designed for high Andean streams (IMEERA). Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 2): 249-273. Epub 2014 April 01.
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              Factores ambientales asociados con la preferencia de hábitat de larvas de tricópteros en cuencas con bosque seco tropical (Tolima, Colombia)

              Los ríos de bosques secos tropicales están amenazados en todo el mundo, y en Suramérica son una de las prioridades en términos de conservación. En este estudio se determinó la influencia de variables ambientales (por ejemplo precipitación) y la vegetación ribereña sobre las comunidades del orden Trichoptera en cuatro sustratos (roca, grava, arena y hojarasca) en las cuencas Opia y Venadillo (Tolima, Colombia). En cada río, en dos segmentos de 100m (uno a ~550 y otro a ~250msnm), fueron evaluados los sustratos mencionados anteriormente. Se realizaron análisis físico-químicos, y se aplicó el índice QBR (calidad del bosque de ribera) en ambos ríos. Se recolectaron 6 282 larvas, pertenecientes a 11 familias y 22 géneros, que representan el 73.30% y 43.13% de la fauna Trichoptera registrada en Colombia, respectivamente. Las familias más abundantes fueron Hydropsychidae (49.86%) y Philopotamidae (25.44%). Los géneros Smicridea, Chimarra, Protoptila, Neotrichia y Leptonema fueron comunes en periodos de baja y alta precipitación. Las asociaciones de tricópteros no mostraron diferencias significativas a nivel de sustrato. Los principales factores que determinaron la composición, riqueza y abundancia de tricópteros fueron la estacionalidad y la vegetación de ribera. Sin embargo, las localidades situadas a mayor altitud y no urbanizadas, ofrecen mayor variedad de sustratos y mayor riqueza de géneros. Nuestros resultados indican que a futuro las larvas de Trichoptera constituyen un elemento biótico relevante en los ecosistemas dulceacuícolas, debido a que son sensibles a disturbios ambientales. Por ende, sugerimos el uso de los tricópteros para biomonitoreo en ríos tropicales. La implementación de estos estudios es urgente, teniendo en cuenta que la degradación de los ecosistemas dulceacuícolas tiende a ser intensa y persistente.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                rbt
                Revista de Biología Tropical
                Rev. biol. trop
                Universidad de Costa Rica (San José )
                0034-7744
                April 2014
                : 62
                : suppl 2
                : 9-20
                Article
                S0034-77442014000600001
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                Biodiversity Conservation
                Biology

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