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The macrophyte, Stratiotes aloides, protects larvae of dragonfly Aeshna viridis against fish predation
Rantala, M.J.; Ilmonen, J.; Koskimäki, J.; Suhonen, J.; Tynkkynen, K. (2004). The macrophyte, Stratiotes aloides, protects larvae of dragonfly Aeshna viridis against fish predation. Aquat. Ecol. 38(1): 77-82. dx.doi.org/10.1023/b:aeco.0000021005.22624.16
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Associated species; Habitat selection; Interspecific relationships; Predation; Refuges; Myriophyllum alterniflorum; Odonata [WoRMS]; Perca fluviatilis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Finland, South [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Rantala, M.J.
  • Ilmonen, J.
  • Koskimäki, J.
  • Suhonen, J.
  • Tynkkynen, K.

Abstract
    Predation could be one force determining which contemporary species occupy a certain habitat. Aeshna viridis is an endangered dragonfly species with a larval distribution strongly associated with lakes where the water plant, water soldier, Stratiotes aloides, occurs. In this study, the larvae were almost exclusively found in patches of S. aloides. To study larval association with S. aloides further, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments. Behavioural experiments indicated that larvae preferred S. aloides. Aeshna viridis larvae were nocturnal and rather inactive. Larvae on S. aloides were less susceptible to predation by the perch, Perca fluviatilis, than larvae on another water plant, Myriophyllum alterniflorum. According to our study it seems that occurrence of S. aloides may limit the distribution of A. viridis, and the protection of refuges may be essential in planning the conservation of this endangered species.

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