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Biomass estimation of Triplectides egleri Sattler (Trichoptera, Leptoceridae) in a stream at Ducke Reserve, Central Amazonia

ABSTRACT

Biomass is a fundamental measure for understanding the structure and functioning (e.g. fluxes of energy and nutrients in the food chain) of aquatic ecosystems. We aim to provide predictive models to estimate the biomass of Triplectides egleri Sattler, 1963, in a stream in Central Amazonia, based on body and case dimensions. We used body length, head-capsule width, interocular distance and case length and width to derive biomass estimations. Linear, exponential and power regression models were used to assess the relationship between biomass and body or case dimensions. All regression models used in the biomass estimation of T. egleri were significant. The best fit between biomass and body or case dimensions was obtained using the power model, followed by the exponential and linear models. Body length provided the best estimate of biomass. However, the dimensions of sclerotized structures (interocular distance and head-capsule width) also provided good biomass predictions, and may be useful in estimating biomass of preserved and/or damaged material. Case width was the dimension of the case that provided the best estimate of biomass. Despite the low relation, case width may be useful in studies that require low stress on individuals.

Keywords:
Allometric relationship; Aquatic insects; Body dimensions; Case dimensions; Shredder caddisfly

Introduction

Abundance is the most common measurement used to understand the functioning (e.g. fluxes of energy and nutrients in the food chain) of aquatic ecosystems (Callisto et al., 2001Callisto, M., Moretti, M., Goulart, M., 2001. Macroinvertebrados bentônicos como ferramenta para avaliar a saúde de riachos. Rev. Bras. Recur, Hídr. 6, 71-82.; Townsend et al., 2003Townsend, C.R., Dolédec, S., Norris, R., Peacock, K., Arbuckle, C., 2003. The influence of scale and geography on relationships between stream community composition and landscape variables: description and prediction. Freshw. Biol. 48, 768-785.). However, individuals and taxa have different sizes and, consequently, different ecological importance, e.g. one large shredder (Triplectides) may be more important on leaf breakdown than two or more small shredders (Woodward et al., 2005Woodward, G., Ebenman, B., Emmerson, M., Montoya, J.M., Olesen, J.M., Valido, A., Warren, P.H., 2005. Body size in ecological networks. Trends Ecol. Evol. 20, 402-409.). Thus, biomass measurements are fundamental to understand processes (e.g. energy transformation) in aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, biomass is essential to evaluating secondary production, life history, trophic relationships between the functional groups, and the role of invertebrates in leaf decomposition (e.g., Benke and Huryn, 2010Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., 2010. Benthic invertebrate production-facilitating answers to ecological riddles in freshwater ecosystems. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 29, 264-285.; Brand and Miserendino, 2012Brand, C., Miserendino, M.L., 2012. Life cycle phenology, secondary production, and trophic guilds of caddisfly species in a lake-outlet stream of Patagonia. Limnologica. 42, 108-117.; Luek et al., 2015Luek, A., Morgan, G.E., Ramcharan, C.W., 2015. Biomass of benthic invertebrates unaffected by industrial damage to lakes despite effects on species composition. Hydrobiologia. 744, 101-114.).

Biomass can be estimated directly (weighing individuals) or indirectly using body and/or case dimensions (Smock, 1980Smock, L.A., 1980. Relationships between body size and biomass of aquatic insects. Freshw. Biol. 10, 375-383.; Burgherr and Meyer, 1997Burgherr, P., Meyer, E.I., 1997. Regression analysis of linear body dimensions vs. dry mass in stream macroinvertebrates. Arch. für Hydrobiol. 139, 101-112.). Direct methods for determining biomass generally do not allow use of individuals for further experiments (Cressa, 1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141.). In addition, in determining biomass of aquatic invertebrates that have small size and are numerous require a considerable amount of time and resources. Thus, indirect methods may be the best alternative for estimating the biomass of these organisms (Smock, 1980Smock, L.A., 1980. Relationships between body size and biomass of aquatic insects. Freshw. Biol. 10, 375-383.).

Among the indirect methods for determining biomass, regression models examining dry mass and body dimensions are the most often used (Smock, 1980Smock, L.A., 1980. Relationships between body size and biomass of aquatic insects. Freshw. Biol. 10, 375-383.; Meyer, 1989Meyer, E., 1989. The relationship between body length parameters and dry mass in running water invertebrates. Arch. für Hydrobiol. 117, 191-203.). Regression models are accurate, fast and inexpensive; however, the accuracy of regression methods is typically taxon-specific and varies among populations (Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.; Johnston and Cunjak, 1999Johnston, T., Cunjak, R., 1999. Dry mass-length relationships for benthic insects: a review with new data from Catamaran Brook, New Brunswick, Canada. Freshw. Biol. 41, 653-674.). In general, low efficiency has been recorded in models created for different regions and even in models for closely related taxa (e.g., family). Moreover, general models are not effective for estimating biomass at the order level, such as in Trichoptera, mainly due to the high variability in the bodies of individuals (Sample et al., 1993Sample, B.E., Cooper, R.J., Greer, R.D., Whitmore, R.C., 1993. Estimation of insect biomass by length and width. Am. Midl. Nat. 129, 234-240.; Cressa, 1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141.).

Models for estimating the biomass of aquatic insects have been developed primarily for populations in temperate regions (e.g., Smock, 1980Smock, L.A., 1980. Relationships between body size and biomass of aquatic insects. Freshw. Biol. 10, 375-383.; Meyer, 1989Meyer, E., 1989. The relationship between body length parameters and dry mass in running water invertebrates. Arch. für Hydrobiol. 117, 191-203.; Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.; González et al., 2002González, J.M., Basaguren, A., Pozo, J., 2002. Size-mass relationships of stream invertebrates in a northern Spain stream. Hydrobiologia. 489, 131-137.). In the Neotropics, length-mass relationship models have been created for insect populations in streams in Argentina (Miserendino, 2001Miserendino, M.L., 2001. Length-mass relationships for macroinvertebrates in freshwater environments of Patagonia (Argentina). Ecol. Austral. 11, 3-8.), Brazil (Becker et al., 2009Becker, B., Moretti, M.S., Callisto, M., 2009. Length-dry mass relationships for a typical shredder in Brazilian streams (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Aquat. Insects. 31, 227-234.; Martins et al., 2014Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.), and Venezuela (Cressa, 1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141.). In Brazil, biomass estimation models have been obtained mainly for shredder organisms, in particular Phylloicus (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae; Becker et al., 2009Becker, B., Moretti, M.S., Callisto, M., 2009. Length-dry mass relationships for a typical shredder in Brazilian streams (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Aquat. Insects. 31, 227-234.; Martins et al., 2014Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.).

Triplectides (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae) are also important shredders in the Amazon region (Landeiro et al., 2010Landeiro, V.L., Hamada, N., Godoy, B.S., Melo, A.S., 2010. Effects of litter patch area on macroinvertebrate assemblage structure and leaf breakdown in Central Amazonian streams. Hydrobiologia. 649, 355-363.; Martins et al., 2015Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonc¸ alves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2015. Leaf breakdown in urban streams of Central Amazonia: direct and indirect effects of physical, chemical and biological factors. Freshw. Sci. 34, 716–726.). Due to this feeding habit, this genus has the potential for use in laboratory studies to evaluate the role of invertebrates in leaf breakdown in Amazonian streams. Our objective is to provide predictive models based on body and case dimensions for estimating the biomass of Triplectides egleriSattler, 1963Sattler, W., 1963. Eine neue Triplectides-Art (Leptoceridae, Trichoptera) aus dem brasilianischen Amazonasgebiet, ihre Metamorphosestadienund Bemerkungen zu ihrer Biologie. Beitr. zur Neotropischen Fauna. 3, 20-33., which is the only species of this genus reported in the study area (Barro Branco stream).

Material and methods

Study area

This study was conducted with a population of T. egleri in the Barro Branco stream, located in the Ducke Reserve (2°55' and 03°01' S, 59 53' and 59°59' W), Manaus municipality (Amazonas state). The Ducke Reserve comprises 10,000 hectares (100 km2), drained by a dense network of low-order streams and covered by “terra firme” (unflooded upland) tropical rain forest (Ribeiro et al., 1999Ribeiro, J.E.L.S., Hopkins, M.J.G., Vicentini, A., Sothers, C.A., Costa, M.A.S., Brito, J.M., 1999. Flora da Reserva Ducke: Guia de identificação das plantas vasculares de uma floresta de terra firme na Amazônia Central. Editora INPA, Manaus.). The streams in this area are shaded by dense riparian vegetation and have acidic (pH = 4.63 ± 0.08) well-oxygenated (6.62 ± 0.06 mg L−1) water, with a low capacity to conduct electrical current (10.71 ± 0.41 μS cm−1), and an average temperature of 24.52 ± 0.52 °C (Martins et al., 2014Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.).

Sample collection

Triplectides egleri larvae were collected in July 2014. Sampling of individuals was performed manually in pool areas of the stream with accumulation of litter. We sampled 57 larvae of different sizes and transported them to the laboratory in a Styrofoam box with stream water and litter; in the laboratory they were removed from their cases and analyzed individually (Becker et al., 2009Becker, B., Moretti, M.S., Callisto, M., 2009. Length-dry mass relationships for a typical shredder in Brazilian streams (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Aquat. Insects. 31, 227-234.). Because two larvae got out of their cases, after collection, the sample size for case dimensions was 55.

Body dimensions used to predict the biomass of individuals were: body length, head-capsule width and interocular distance (Becker, 2005Becker, G., 2005. Life cycle of Agapetus fuscipes (Trichoptera, Glossosomatidae) in a first-order upland stream in central Germany. Limnologica. 35, 52-60.; Becker et al., 2009Becker, B., Moretti, M.S., Callisto, M., 2009. Length-dry mass relationships for a typical shredder in Brazilian streams (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Aquat. Insects. 31, 227-234.). Body length was measured as the distance between the anterior region of the head and the distal region of the abdomen. Head-capsule width was measured as the widest portion of the head. Interocular distance was measured at the smallest distance between the eyes.

Case length and width can be used to estimate biomass because these insects build a portable tubular case from small twigs (Sattler, 1963Sattler, W., 1963. Eine neue Triplectides-Art (Leptoceridae, Trichoptera) aus dem brasilianischen Amazonasgebiet, ihre Metamorphosestadienund Bemerkungen zu ihrer Biologie. Beitr. zur Neotropischen Fauna. 3, 20-33.). Triplectides egleri excavate the ventral region of the case at its opening, probably to facilitate locomotion. Case width was therefore measured as the extension of the excavated portion (Fig. 1). Case length was measured as the distance between the anterior (case opening) and the posterior portion of the case.

Fig. 1
Case built from a small twig by a Triplectides egleri (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae) larva in a Central Amazonian stream, Brazil. Red line indicates where the width of the case (= extent of the excavated area, at the ventral region) was measured.

The body and case dimensions were determined from digital images (Leica stereomicroscope M165, accuracy = 0.001 mm) obtained with Leica Application Suite (LAS) software version 3.8. After measurement, larvae were placed in an oven (OdontoBras Mod-EL-1.6) for 72 h at 50 °C and cooled in a desiccator for 24 h. Biomass (dry weight) of each individual was measured with a high-precision digital scale (Metter Toledo, model AB265-S/FACT; accuracy = 0.01 mg).

Data analysis

To evaluate the relationship between biomass and the body or case dimensions of T. egleri, we used regression analysis based on the least squares method (Zar, 2010Zar, J.H., 2010. Biostatistical Analysis. Pearson Education, New Jersey.). Three regression models were fitted to the data: (a) linear (y = a * x + b), (b) exponential (y = a * ebx; in linear form: ln y = ln a + b * x), and (c) power (y = a * xb; in linear form: ln y = ln a + b* ln x). In all models, y is the biomass (mg), x is the size of the body or case (mm), and a and b are regression constants describing the allometric relationship between variables y and x. The fit of the regression models was assessed by the coefficient of determination (R2) expressed in proportion or percentage (%) (Zar, 2010Zar, J.H., 2010. Biostatistical Analysis. Pearson Education, New Jersey.). The coefficient of variation was obtained according to equation: CV = (SD/mean)*100, where SD is the standard deviation. Results of CV were presented in percentage (%).

Cross-validation analyses were performed to assess the predictive power of the models obtained from our data. We follow the method used by Martins et al. (2014)Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.. Thus, our data set was divided in half, one of the subsets was used to create models (training set) and the other was used to evaluate the performance of predictive models (test set). Moreover, to assess whether biomass estimation models proposed for other leptocerids (Nectopsyche genus) are satisfactory to estimate T. egleri biomass, we used the equations proposed by Cressa (1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141., b)Cressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimation of tropical aquatic insects using different short-term preservation methods. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 143-149., which were obtained to Trichoptera larvae from the Venezuelan Amazon. The reliability of cross-validation was assessed by comparison of predicted results with the biomass obtained through weighing of the larvae. The significance of our cross-validation was tested using a paired t-test. The cross-validation was repeated 100 times and the result was expressed as an average value. All analyses were performed with the R program (R Core Team, 2014R Core Team, 2014. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, http://www.R-project.org/.
http://www.R-project.org/...
).

Results

Dry weight of T. egleri had a high coefficient of variation (CV = 108%), with values from 0.18 to 11.30 mg (Table 1). Among body dimensions, body length had the highest range (3.97–18.25 mm) and coefficient of variation (36%). Case dimensions also had high coefficients of variation as compared to body dimensions (Table 1).

Table 1
Range, mean, standard deviation (SD), coefficient of variation (CV = (SD/mean)*100, in %) and number of observations (N) for body mass and body and case dimensions of Triplectides egleri (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae) larvae from a Central Amazonian stream, Brazil.

All regression models used to estimate T. egleri biomass were significant (Table 2). The best fit between biomass and body or case dimensions was obtained using the power model, followed by the exponential and linear models. For the linear, exponential and power models, body length was the dimension that best predicted biomass. Among the case dimensions, case width provided the best estimate in all models (Table 2).

Table 2
Linear, exponential and power models for the relationship between body mass (mg) and body and case dimensions (mm) of Triplectides egleri (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae) larvae from a Central Amazonian stream, Brazil.

To linear models, the predicted biomass using models for body length was underestimated (∼ −11%; Table 3). On the other hand, the predicted biomass using others body and case dimensions were overestimated (∼18–64%). To exponential and power, the predicted biomass was overestimated when we used body (Exponential: ∼12–27%; Power: ∼8–24%) and case (Exponential: ∼35–52%; Power: ∼32–49%) dimensions. To all models, no significant differences between predicted biomass using cross-validation models and observed biomass was recorded (Table 3). On the other hand, all models using the models proposed to other Neotropical leptocerids (Nectopsyche) and Trichoptera (Cressa, 1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141., bCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimation of tropical aquatic insects using different short-term preservation methods. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 143-149.) were significantly different in relation to T. egleri biomass and, values were underestimated up to 98% (Table 4).

Table 3
Predictive performance of cross-validation models to estimate biomass of Triplectides egleri from a Central Amazonian stream. Difference indicates percentage of difference between predicted and observed data. Positive differences indicate that the predicted values were higher than the observed ones. T and p refers to paired T-tests between observed and predicted values. Values refer to averages obtained from predictions and tests repeated 100 times.
Table 4
Predictive performance of biomass estimation models from Nectopsyche (Leptoceridae) and Trichoptera proposed by Cressa (1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141., 1999b)Cressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimation of tropical aquatic insects using different short-term preservation methods. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 143-149. to estimate biomass of Triplectides egleri from a Central Amazonian stream. Difference (%) indicates percentage of difference between predicted and observed data. Negative differences indicate that the predicted values were lower than the observed ones. T and p refers to paired t-tests between observed and predicted values. Values refer to averages obtained from predictions and tests repeated 100 times.

Discussion

In general, body length was the best dimension for estimating the biomass of Triplectides egleri, explaining 66–75% of biomass variation. Other studies have also reported that body length is an efficient dimension for estimating the biomass of other genera of Trichoptera (e.g., Towers et al., 1994Towers, D.J., Henderson, I.M., Veltman, C.J., 1994. Predicting dry weight of New Zealand aquatic macroinvertebrates from linear dimensions. N. Z. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 28, 159-166.; Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.; Miserendino, 2001Miserendino, M.L., 2001. Length-mass relationships for macroinvertebrates in freshwater environments of Patagonia (Argentina). Ecol. Austral. 11, 3-8.; Becker et al., 2009Becker, B., Moretti, M.S., Callisto, M., 2009. Length-dry mass relationships for a typical shredder in Brazilian streams (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Aquat. Insects. 31, 227-234.; Martins et al., 2014Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.). This dimension typically provides good estimates because most of the body of the insect larvae (holometabolous) is not sclerotized and tends to increase gradually in each instar, accompanying the changes in the mass of individuals (Johnston and Cunjak, 1999Johnston, T., Cunjak, R., 1999. Dry mass-length relationships for benthic insects: a review with new data from Catamaran Brook, New Brunswick, Canada. Freshw. Biol. 41, 653-674.).

Interocular distance and head-capsule width also provided good estimates of biomass (>44%). For example, the best predictor of biomass in the exponential model was the interocular distance. In general, sclerotized structures (e.g., head) show low variation within each instar and tend to have a poor fit with biomass as compared to body length (Towers et al., 1994Towers, D.J., Henderson, I.M., Veltman, C.J., 1994. Predicting dry weight of New Zealand aquatic macroinvertebrates from linear dimensions. N. Z. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 28, 159-166.; Burgherr and Meyer, 1997Burgherr, P., Meyer, E.I., 1997. Regression analysis of linear body dimensions vs. dry mass in stream macroinvertebrates. Arch. für Hydrobiol. 139, 101-112.). However, sclerotized structures are resistant to damage in terms of breaks or deformities induced by preservation methods, and may be very useful for biomass estimation of preserved or damaged individuals (Johnston and Cunjak, 1999Johnston, T., Cunjak, R., 1999. Dry mass-length relationships for benthic insects: a review with new data from Catamaran Brook, New Brunswick, Canada. Freshw. Biol. 41, 653-674.).

In our study, case dimensions provided poor fit with biomass as compared to body dimensions, not corroborating the studies of Cressa (1999a)Cressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141. and Martins et al. (2014)Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342., who observed similar accuracy for case and body dimensions for predicting biomass of Nectopsyche and Phylloicus (Trichoptera). The strong relationship between case dimensions and biomass of Nectopsyche and Phylloicus may be related to use of sand grains and leaves to build their cases (Glover and Floyd, 2004Glover, J.B., Floyd, M.A., 2004. Larvae of the genus Nectopsyche (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae) in eastern North America, including a new species from North Carolina. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 23, 526-541.; Prather, 2003Prather, A.L., 2003. Revision of the Neotropical caddisfly genus Phylloicus (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Zootaxa 275, 1–214.). Usage of these materials, which are small or can be cut to size determined by larvae, allows construction of a case according to the size of the larvae. On the other hand, Triplectides individuals build their cases by drilling small twigs (Sattler, 1963Sattler, W., 1963. Eine neue Triplectides-Art (Leptoceridae, Trichoptera) aus dem brasilianischen Amazonasgebiet, ihre Metamorphosestadienund Bemerkungen zu ihrer Biologie. Beitr. zur Neotropischen Fauna. 3, 20-33.), behavior which limits the fit between case and biomass because it depends on the larvae finding small twigs suitable to their size, which does not always occur (Camargos and Pes, 2011Camargos, L.M., Pes, A.M.O., 2011. The grass is always greener on the other side: Triplectides Kolenati, 1859 (Leptoceridae) and Marilia Müller, 1880 (Odontoceridae) occupying cases of other Trichoptera species. Acta Limnol. Bras. 23, 353-356.).

The power model provided the best fit between the biomass and body and case dimensions of T. egleri. However, the difference in relation to the exponential model was less than 2% (except for case length). Other studies have reported that the difference between power and exponential models in Trichoptera biomass explanation is low – usually less than 6% (Becker et al., 2009Becker, B., Moretti, M.S., Callisto, M., 2009. Length-dry mass relationships for a typical shredder in Brazilian streams (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae). Aquat. Insects. 31, 227-234.; Martins et al., 2014Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.) – and that differences observed using different regression models tend to decrease with increasing number of observations (Wenzel et al., 1990).

In aquatic invertebrates, the “b” value of the mass-length curve adjusted by the power regression model is close to 3, ranging between 2 and 4 (Towers et al., 1994Towers, D.J., Henderson, I.M., Veltman, C.J., 1994. Predicting dry weight of New Zealand aquatic macroinvertebrates from linear dimensions. N. Z. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 28, 159-166.; Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.; González et al., 2002González, J.M., Basaguren, A., Pozo, J., 2002. Size-mass relationships of stream invertebrates in a northern Spain stream. Hydrobiologia. 489, 131-137.). Specifically, for insects, the average value of “b” tends to be lower than 3 (Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.; Smock, 1980Smock, L.A., 1980. Relationships between body size and biomass of aquatic insects. Freshw. Biol. 10, 375-383.). In this study, “b” values for the relationship between body dimensions and biomass followed this pattern, indicating that the body narrows with an increase in body length (Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.). For other Leptoceridae genera (Oecetis and Nectopsyche) of temperate regions, the “b” value has been found to be greater than 3, indicating that bodies of these organisms become proportionally larger as the length increases (Benke et al., 1999Benke, A.C., Huryn, A.D., Smock, L.A., Wallace, B.J., 1999. Length-mass relationships for freshwater macroinvertebrates in North America with particular reference to the Southeastern United States. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 18, 308-343.). In the tropics, Cressa (1999a)Cressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141. recorded a “b” value of 1.35 for Nectopsyche individuals. The “b” values of equations for biomass estimation of T. egleri and Nectopsyche indicates that larvae of both genres tend to be longer than wide as the individuals grow. However, the low “b” value obtained for Nectopsyche indicates that the body shape of this genus changes more intensely during the larval development. Moreover, may have a large ontogenetic variation between different species comprising the genus. These differences may account for the high underestimation of biomass T. egleri when we used the equations proposed by Cressa (1999aCressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimates of some tropical aquatic insects. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 133-141., b)Cressa, C., 1999. Dry mass estimation of tropical aquatic insects using different short-term preservation methods. Rev. Biol. Trop. 47, 143-149.. Thus, our results reinforce the importance of obtaining models for organisms (genus or species) studied from a particular geographic region (Martins et al., 2014Martins, R.T., Melo, A.S., Gonçalves Jr., J.F., Hamada, N., 2014. Estimation of dry mass of caddisflies Phylloicus elektoros (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) in a Central Amazon stream. Zoologia 31, 337–342.).

Compared to the results obtained in other studies, we conclude that our regression models (power and exponential) describe with high precision the relation between body dimensions and biomass of T. egleri. Thus, they are useful tools for determination of biomass and can be used in studies that aim understanding the role of shredder invertebrates on ecological processes in Amazonian streams.

Acknowledgments

We thank Ana M. O. Pes for help in Triplectides egleri identification, Leo R. R. Trindade for acquisition of the photograph of a T. egleri case and Lucas Barreto for field help. We also thank Philip M. Fearnside by english review. JGB received a doctoral scholarship from Foundation of the Amazonas State Research (FAPEAM), RTM received a fellowship from program to support fixing Doctors at Amazon (FIXAM/AM-FAPEAM); KMS received an Institutional Scientific Initiation Program Scholarship from National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and NH received research fellowships from CNPq. INCT/ADAPTA – Amazon, MCTI/CNPq/CT-AGRO/CT-SAÚDE/CT-HIDRO – Climate change (Proc. 403949/2013-0) and Institutional Pro-equipment/CAPES projects supported the field sampling and laboratory infrastructure.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Oct-Dec 2015

History

  • Received
    31 Jan 2015
  • Accepted
    27 July 2015
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