Water chemistry and not urbanization influences community structure of non-marine Ostracoda (Crustacea) in northern Belgium

Marie Cours, Jan Vanaverbeke, Koen Parmentier, Marc Knockaert, Janet Higuti, Koen Martens, Isa Schön


Urbanization is one of the major causes of the destruction of natural habitats in the world. Cities are urban heat islands and can thus significantly influence populations of plants and animals. The research project SPEEDY investigated the effects of urbanization in northern Belgium with a nested sampling design at local and landscape scales for a variety of organisms. Here, we tested the effects of urbanization on non-marine ostracod communities, sampling 81 small pools in three urbanization categories, as defined by percentage built up cover (low, intermediate, high). We identified 17 ostracod species, together occurring in 60 of the 81 sampled pools. We found that urbanization per se had no significant effect on ostracod communities. Of all the measured local factors, ammonium and total phosphorus concentrations had a significant effect on the community structure. In contrast, water temperature had no significant effect, most likely because the ostracod species found in northern Belgium in the present survey mostly have wide temperature tolerances.


freshwater ecology; anthropogenic impact; nutrients; ammonium; phosphorus; built-up cover

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26496/bjz.2021.91


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