Open Access
Issue
Knowl. Manag. Aquat. Ecosyst.
Number 418, 2017
Article Number 43
Number of page(s) 6
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2017035
Published online 19 September 2017

© A. Akünal and E.G. Aslan, Published by EDP Sciences 2017

Licence Creative Commons
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY-ND (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

1 Introduction

Aquatic insects comprise an important part of the aquatic ecosystems, and essential components of biodiversity. They play a very significant role in nutrients' recycling; form an important portion of natural food web in aquatic ecosystems (Ramnik Kour and Sharma, 2011), and are the organism affected most by surface water pollution. They are diverse, vulnerable, and they react to both natural and manmade changes in the environment directly (Arimoro and Ikomi, 2009). As an important component of aquatic biodiversity, the invertebrate fauna constitutes a fundamental part of these ecosystems and has become a useful element for the environmental variables that influence their composition and richness patterns determining their diversity. Species-level identification for all aquatic invertebrates is generally problematic because of the aerial stage of most adults. Only some Coleoptera and Hemiptera adults are strictly aquatics (Guareschi et al., 2012). Coleoptera is a diverse order with over 5000 aquatic species, its physiological and behavioral adaptation has an advantage over other macro-zoo-benthos of fresh water habitats (Ramnik Kour and Sharma, 2011; Smith and Golladay, 2011), and is also the richest insect order in inland saline waters (Pallarés et al., 2012).

Water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, flow rate and density, substratum characteristics, heavy metal ratio, salinity, electrical conductivity, etc., are among the effective ecological variables responsible for habitat preferences of aquatic insects (Heino, 2009). Because they are effected directly by any change in water quality, they are used as bioindicators, or for biomonitoring activities. The concept of biological indicators and biological monitoring using aquatic insects is based on their diversity, abundance and distribution in relation to the physical and chemical conditions of the habitats (Wahizatul et al., 2011).

Hydrophilidae and Helophoridae represent two important aquatic groups of Hydrophiloidea, and are not yet studied enough in Turkey. Faunistic studies have been done mainly in the Eastern, Northern, Central Anatolia and Inner Western parts of Turkey lacking any information about the ecology and habitat associations of the species (Kıyak et al., 2006; Ertorun and Tanatmış, 2009; İncekara et al., 2009, 2010; Mart, 2009; Mart et al., 2010, 2014; Polat et al., 2010; Topkara and Balık, 2010; Taşar et al., 2012). Studies based on how physicochemical parameters of water affect species' distribution, or which environmental variables have primary impact on habitat preferences of Hydrophilidae and Helophoridae species are almost absent.

İzmir, Manisa and Aydın provinces are located in the western part of Turkey and despite the fact that they have numerous water sources with different topographic structures, there are almost no comprehensive faunistic surveys conducted on these two families there. Therefore the aims of this study are; to measure some environmental variables (including the water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity, and salinity parameters) that are thought to be effective in sampled habitats which were chosen or not chosen by the species, and to estimate the effects of these parameters on habitat preferences of these beetles, as well as relationship between the environmental factors and species' distribution according to the data obtained.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 Study area and sampling method

This study is based on Hydrophilidae and Helophoridae specimens gathered from February to November in 2013–2014 from İzmir, Manisa, and Aydın provinces (Fig. 1). All these three provinces have rich composition in terms of diverse aquatic habitats. Investigations were carried out in 99 different sampling sites (20 sites from İzmir, 35 sites from Manisa, and 44 sites from Aydın) including the towns and their outskirts. Water samples were analyzed for various variables such as temperature (°C), pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), electrical conductivity (EC) and salinity. All parameters were measured in situ by using portable multiparameter equipment (YSI Professional Plus Quatro ISE-ISE-DO-COND-T 13E100074) in order to determine the relationship between species and environmental variables.

Specimens were collected by using a sieve, ladle or net with a diameter of 1–2 mm pore, from different water bodies, from the edges of water, or under the decomposing organic matter. Samples were killed by ethyl acetate or with 70% alcohol solution and taken to the laboratory for further analysis and dissection. Diagnosis of beetles was carried out using aedeagophores and other morphological characters. All specimens are deposited at the Biology Department of Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta.

thumbnail Fig. 1

Map of the study area showing distribution of the 99 sampling sites.

2.2 Statistical analysis

The first classification was performed by using MINITAB 16 on calculated descriptive statistics in order to get the arithmetic means of all parameters obtained from the 99 different sampling sites. Pearson's Correlation Analysis was used in order to determine the strengths of possible linear associations between the mentioned environmental variables. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used in order to analyze the relationships between environmental variables and the presence of determined species in sampling sites. The values of the environmental variables were randomly assigned to the individual samples of species composition, and ordination analysis was done with Monte Carlo permutation test with 499 runs. CCA was performed with the CANOCO 4.5 package (Ter Braak, 1986).

3 Results

Totally, 1325 individuals belonging to 8 genera and 30 species of Hydrophilidae (21 species) and Helophoridae (9 species) were identified from İzmir, Manisa and Aydın provinces of Turkey. Table 1 refers to species along with their presence in the study areas.

Water temperature (°C), dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and salinity parameters from several different aquatic bodies were measured and means of provinces were calculated (Tab. 2). The results of the Pearson's correlation analysis shows that there is an intercompatibility between EC and salinity, hence they were positively correlated (p < 0.01) (Tab. 3).

CCA was applied in order to identify environmental variables that were associated with the presence of species in the sampled aquatic bodies. Distribution of beetles according to the environmental variables was presented by a CCA plot (Fig. 2). The first two axes accounted for about 55% of the explained variance (Tab. 4); EC and salinity were found as the primary important parameters in distribution of beetles regarding the whole axis. Dissolved oxygen and pH parameters positively correlated with the first axis while water temperature was negatively correlated. Distributions of Enochrus quadripunctatus, Coelostoma orbiculare, and Paracymus aeneus were positively related with EC and salinity. Laccobius syriacus, Helophorus micans, Helophorus aquaticus, Helophorus hilaris, Helochares lividus, Helochares punctatus, Helochares obscurus, and Enochrus fuscipennis were positively related with DO and pH, negatively related with water temperature. Temperature was determined as the most effective factor for Laccobius halophilus, furthermore, Enochrus politus, Laccobius striatulus and Enochrus halophilus were also closely related to this parameter. According to the secondary axis; Enochrus quadripunctatus was affected by EC and salinity most, while Laccobius syriacus, Helophorus micans, Helophorus aquaticus, Helophorus hilaris, Helochares lividus, Helochares punctatus, and Enochrus fuscipennis were strongly correlated with dissolved oxygen and pH, and negatively correlated with temperature. In addition, habitat preferences of Laccobius scutellaris, Helophorus obscurus, Helophorus flavipes, Laccobius obscratus, Laccobius alternus, Helophorus montenegrinus, Helophorus brevipalpis, Hydrobius fuscipes, Helophorus grandis, Helophorus syriacus, Laccobius chiesai, Laccobius simulatrix, and Laccobius gracilis were found partially related with high level of oxygen and pH (Fig. 2).

Table 1

List of aquatic beetles (Hydrophilidae, Helophoridae) collected from Western Turkey (İzmir, Manisa and Aydın).

Table 2

Minimum, maximum, mean values and standard error of physicochemical parameters according to study areas.

Table 3

Results of Pearson's correlation analysis for the measured physicochemical parameters.

thumbnail Fig. 2

CCA plot showing species and parameters (L. altern: Laccobius alternus; Hlp. mont: Helophorus montenegrinus; Hlp. brev: Helophorus brevipalpis; H. fusci: Hydrobius fuscipes; Hlp. grand: Helophorus grandis; Hlp. syr: Helophorus syriacus; L. gracil: Laccobius gracilis; L. simula: Laccobius simulatrix; L. chiesa: Laccobius chiesai; L. haloph: Laccobius halophilus; E. haloph: Enochrus halophilus; L. striat: Laccobius striatulus; E. politu: Enochrus politus; C. orbicu: Coelostoma orbiculare; P. aeneus: Paracymus aeneus; E. quadri: Enochrus quadripunctatus; E. bicolo: Enochrus bicolor; H. puncta: Helochares punctatus; E. fuscip: Enochrus fuscipennis; L. syriac: Laccobius syriacus; Hlp. micans: Helophorus micans; Hlp. aqua: Helophorus aquaticus; Hlp. hila: Helophorus hilaris; H. lividu: Helochares lividus; H. obscur: Helochares obscurus; L. scutel: Laccobius scutellaris; Hlp. obsc: Helophorus obscurus; Hlp. flav: Helophorus flavipes; L. obscra: Laccobius obscratus orchymonti).

Table 4

Summary of CCA analyses.

4 Discussion

Water temperature is the most effective environmental variable in development rate in terrestrial and aquatic ectotherms (Ragland and Kingsolver, 2008), and insects are affected from the changes of temperature during their life time especially in such periods as egg stage and embryonic development (Chuche and Thiéry, 2012). In this study, the mean temperature of 99 aquatic sites were about 24.57 °C. Minimum temperature was measured as 12.30 °C in Aydın province, and maximum temperature was 36.30 °C in İzmir, but no specimen was sampled in these extreme values. Angus (1992) indicates that species of Helophoridae need about 20 °C water temperature for larval development in the laboratory conditions, so life-history cannot be completed in lower temperatures. Fairchild et al. (2003) stated that higher water temperatures may allow more rapid completion of larval stages. However, during our field surveys Helophorus obscurus specimens were sampled from waters with 14.5–16.6 °C temperatures, Laccobius scutellaris and Laccobius simulatrix were sampled from 17.7 °C water in Aydın (İkizdere) province. According to Arribas et al. (2012), Enochrus bicolor and Enochrus falcarius have similar reactions to low temperature averages, but E. falcarius has relatively higher tolerance to high range of temperatures. Enochrus adults and larvae can live in 28–45 °C waters and other hydrophilids can tolerate waters with temperatures ranging between 28 and 44.5 °C (Winterbourn, 1968). In the present study, Enochrus specimens were generally sampled from waters with temperatures ranging 21.2–33.3 °C, all over 20 °C. The measured temperature values for the whole species in the study range between 14.5 and 33.3 °C. That is to say, all species have tolerance to different temperatures for habitat preference.

Dissolved oxygen is one of the most important gases of water which limits and organizes life of aquatic organisms. It is very effective for aerobic organisms and the density in the water changes due to water temperature. Aquatic insects are very sensitive to hypoxia and can be defined based on oxygenation of their aquatic habitats. Larva and pupa stages need more oxygen levels, and during these periods hypoxia has a negative influence upon growth (Hoback and Stanley, 2001). In the present study, minimum and maximum dissolved oxygen levels changed between 0.66–22.17 mg/L in the sampled aquatic sites. Freshwater habitats have a minimum of 5 mg/L dissolved oxygen for continuation of aquatic life (EPA, 1997). However, Hydrobius fuscipes, Helophorus brevipalpis, H. syriacus, H. obscurus, Enochrus bicolor, E. halophilus, Laccobius chiesai, L. striatulus, L. gracilis, L. halophilus and Paracymus aeneus were sampled from habitats which had oxygen concentrations under 5 mg/L. The above mentioned species usually prefer waters with high temperature and rich nutrients, thus can tolerate low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. Adult hydrophilids and dytiscids have air bubbles under their abdomens for respiration (Winterborn, 1968), which help them live in waters with low limits of oxygen.

pH is used to indicate the alkalinity or acidity of a substance (EPA, 1997), and effects the whole aquatic organisms and the biochemical activity of these organisms. Safe pH levels vary from family to family in aquatic insects (Bell, 1971). Aquatic organisms generally live between the range of 5–9 pH waters (Cirik and Cirik, 2005), exceptionally in this study Enochrus bicolor, E. fuscipennis, Helophorus brevipalpis, Laccobius simulatrix, Helochares lividus, H. punctatus and Hydrobius fuscipes were sampled in waters above 9 pH level from Aydın and Manisa provinces. Bell (1971) states that when the pH of the water decreases, the percentage of aquatic insects collaterally decreases. Acidic or alkaline waters which have high hydrogen ions or hydroxyl ions constitute serious problems in gas exchange on the air bubbles of aquatic beetles. The obtained data showed that species of Hydrophilidae and Helophoridae generally prefer waters from alkalinity to neutral, as average pH of the sampled sites was 8.43.

Saline inland waters are widespread especially in arid and semi-arid regions of the world and salinity levels of these habitats are adversely affected by human activities, with a corresponding loss of biodiversity. Salinity is affected directly or indirectly by dissolved oxygen, pH, and nutrient factors in aquatic systems (Velasco et al., 2006). Electrical conductivity is comprised of dissolved salts in waters and significantly correlated with salinity (Göksu, 2003). In this study, salinity values were found <1 ppt in most of the sampling sites. In Aydın province, sampled sites generally consisted of temporary rain water; therefore Helophorus species were mostly sampled from these freshwaters. No specimens were sampled from waters with high salinity levels such as 3.81; 3.89; 6.34; 9.45; 13.37 ppt in Aydın. Same situation was valid for Manisa province and its districts. In İzmir, many aquatic habitats displayed features of freshwater except from the coastal areas which is supported by the composition of the species. But, Enochrus bicolor and Paracymus aeneus specimens were sampled from a coastal wetland of İzmir (Aliağa) of where salinity was measured 62.03 ppt. Species living in high salinity levels are generally endemic or native to those aquatic habitats. According to this, E. bicolor and P. aeneus are likely to be potential indicator species of salinity, generally distributed in saline ecosystems. Similarly, Picazo et al. (2012) stated that Paracymus aeneus, Enochrus bicolor, E. politus and Berosus hispanicus were indicator species of coastal wetlands, and these species had high tolerance to salinity. Changes in salinity affect aquatic biota either directly or indirectly, and only limited species can tolerate high salinity levels or such changes. Among Coleoptera; hydraenids, dytiscids and hydrophilids contain species that live in broad ranges of salinity (Velasco et al., 2006). Therefore, obtained data are in accordance with literature. According to CCA results, main environmental variables which were effective on species distributions are salinity, electrical conductivity and water temperature. Our results are in line with many other studies which are about similar factors responsible of habitat preferences of aquatic insects (Shieh and Yang 2000; Baptista et al., 2001; Céspedes et al., 2013).

In conclusion, species composition of Hydrophilidae and Helophoridae specimens distributed in İzmir, Manisa and Aydın provinces (representing coastal Aegean part of Turkey) are generally influenced by conductivity, salinity and temperature of wetlands. After all, each species prefers different sets of physicochemical parameters. Therefore, species composition of hydrophilids and helophorids as a whole cannot be considered as suitable indicators of water quality. Ecological information regarding habitat preferences provided herein will be a crucial task in future studies in order to understand the presence and distribution of these aquatic beetles in Turkey.

Acknowledgements

The study was supported by Department of Scientific Research Project Management of Süleyman Demirel University with the Project Number SDUBAP (3621-D2-13). We are very grateful to Asst. Prof. Özgür KOŞKAN (Süleyman Demirel University, Department of Animal Science) for his helps about statistical analyses.

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Cite this article as: Akünal A, Aslan EG. 2017. Ecological investigations on Hydrophilidae and Helophoridae (Coleoptera) specimens gathered from several water bodies of Western Turkey. Knowl. Manag. Aquat. Ecosyst., 418, 43.

All Tables

Table 1

List of aquatic beetles (Hydrophilidae, Helophoridae) collected from Western Turkey (İzmir, Manisa and Aydın).

Table 2

Minimum, maximum, mean values and standard error of physicochemical parameters according to study areas.

Table 3

Results of Pearson's correlation analysis for the measured physicochemical parameters.

Table 4

Summary of CCA analyses.

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1

Map of the study area showing distribution of the 99 sampling sites.

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 2

CCA plot showing species and parameters (L. altern: Laccobius alternus; Hlp. mont: Helophorus montenegrinus; Hlp. brev: Helophorus brevipalpis; H. fusci: Hydrobius fuscipes; Hlp. grand: Helophorus grandis; Hlp. syr: Helophorus syriacus; L. gracil: Laccobius gracilis; L. simula: Laccobius simulatrix; L. chiesa: Laccobius chiesai; L. haloph: Laccobius halophilus; E. haloph: Enochrus halophilus; L. striat: Laccobius striatulus; E. politu: Enochrus politus; C. orbicu: Coelostoma orbiculare; P. aeneus: Paracymus aeneus; E. quadri: Enochrus quadripunctatus; E. bicolo: Enochrus bicolor; H. puncta: Helochares punctatus; E. fuscip: Enochrus fuscipennis; L. syriac: Laccobius syriacus; Hlp. micans: Helophorus micans; Hlp. aqua: Helophorus aquaticus; Hlp. hila: Helophorus hilaris; H. lividu: Helochares lividus; H. obscur: Helochares obscurus; L. scutel: Laccobius scutellaris; Hlp. obsc: Helophorus obscurus; Hlp. flav: Helophorus flavipes; L. obscra: Laccobius obscratus orchymonti).

In the text

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