Studies on Chironomidae in waterfronts: Current status and future prospects
Hirabayashi, K.; Nakamoto, N.
Japanese Journal of Ecology 51(1): 23-40
Previous reviews on chironomid studies mainly dealt with lake profundal works, with emphasis on larval distribution and life histories. This review focuses on waterfronts (i.e. shallow waters and shores including adjacent terrestrial area) as habitats for Chironomidae and summarizes recent works on the ecology of both larvae and adults. Shore zones encompass different types of habitat for chironomids, including rocky, stony, sandy and silty substrates, emerged and submerged vegetation and wood, and aquatic animal bodies. It is known that areas with aquatic plants tend to support the largest number of chironomid species and therefore constitute the most important habitat for them. The abundance and types of vegetation are considered to influence the diversity of chironomid assemblages. Chironomids of non-conventional waterfront habitats such as semi-terrestrial zone, wetland areas and rice paddies have so far received little research effort in Japan. Their biological characteristics were briefly reviewed. Recent works on the use of chironomids as environmental indicators were reviewed, with particular reference to waterfront habitats. Consideration was given to the current status and future prospects of chironomid studies in Japan. As research on chironomids in waterfront habitats is still in its infancy in Japan, there is a need for further works including the establishment of national registry/management of type specimens.