L' acidification anthropique des eaux de surface : effets sur les communautés de macro invertébrés benthiques : autoécologie et réponses d'espèces caractéristiques des ruisseaux de tête de bassin des Vosges

Abstract : Despite the recent reduction of SO2 and NOx emissions, anthropogenic acidification of freshwater ecosystems remains a major ecological problem in several countries. In the Vosges Mountains, it still represents the first cause of headwater stream perturbation. Many researches have focused on the effects of acidification on the composition and structure of macroinvertebrate communities. In this way, it has been shown that the biodiversity (richness) of most invertebrate taxonomic groups has been severely impoverished in acidified ecosystems. To explain the modification of invertebrate assemblages, different types of response (not exclusive) have been proposed. 1) direct lethal and sublethal effects of acidification (i.e. high [H+] and [Al] and low [Ca]) leading to the disruption of important physiological functions (e.g. ion-regulation, respiration), 2) indirect effects through changes in the quality and quantity of aquatic food resources. 3) indirect effects resulting from change in biotic interactions such as competition and/or predation. If the first hypothesis has been well studied, indirect effects and their consequences on ecosystem functioning have received little interest. In fact, studies performed on the field and using high level of taxon determination as well as autoecological aspects which are essential to understand these processes remain scarce. Our study accounts for more complex responses of macro invertebrates to acidification than previously reported. In particular, it reveals that some given taxa could be acid-benefiting . In this way, it confirms the major importance of indirect effects such as competition and predation leading to the modification of macro-invertebrate assemblages in acidic ecosystems. Moreover, it provides important informations on several autoecological traits, especially concerning their life history and feeding habits in pristine and acidified ecosystems. Our study emphasizes the crucial need of such fundamental aspects in understanding ecological processes, in particular when assessing the effects of freshwater acidification, and in the future the possible recovery of running water ecosystems from acidification.
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Guillaume Tixier. L' acidification anthropique des eaux de surface : effets sur les communautés de macro invertébrés benthiques : autoécologie et réponses d'espèces caractéristiques des ruisseaux de tête de bassin des Vosges. Sciences agricoles. Université Paul Verlaine - Metz, 2004. Français. ⟨NNT : 2004METZ033S⟩. ⟨tel-01750022⟩

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