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Distribution and production of Chironomus salinarius in a shallow coastal lagoon in the Bay of Cadiz



Distribution and production of Chironomus salinarius in a shallow coastal lagoon in the Bay of Cadiz



Hydrobiologia 299(3): 195-206



The abundance, generation time and production of Chironomus salinarius larvae in a lagoon fish-pond system in the Bay of Cadiz were studied by taking monthly samples at 3 sites during 1991 and 1992. Numerical abundance and biomass of larvae showed considerable spatial, seasonal and interannual variation (ANCOVAs, P lt 0.001). The maximum mean annual density was 7048 larvae m-2, and corresponded to a biomass of 3.08 g dry weight (DW) m-2. It was recorded at the site with the lowest rate of water renewal. Seasonal patterns were similar at all sites, with main annual peaks of abundance and biomass in autumn-early winter. Chironomid density was positively related to the biomass of benthic macroalgae (P lt 0.00 1). The population studied was multivoltine with a probable average of five generations per year, with overlapping cohorts and a predominance of third- and fourth-instar larvae. Estimates of annual production ranged between 72.2 g DW m-2 yr-1 at the site with the lowest rate of water renewal in 1991 and 0.1 g DW m-2 yr-1 at the site with the highest rate of water renewal in 1992. Mean annual production and the production/biomass ratio for the system was estimated to be 16.8 g DW m-2 yr-1 and 12.7, respectively. Possible factors leading to the observed density fluctuations are discussed, as well as possible sources of error in production estimates.

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