Eur. J. Entomol. 100 (4): 459-465, 2003 | 10.14411/eje.2003.069

Survival strategies of chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) living in temporary habitats: a review

Jan FROUZ1,3, Josef MATĚNA2,*, Arshad ALI3
1 Institute of Soil Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Sádkách 7, České Budějovice, CZ 37005, Czech Republic
2 Hydrobiological Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Sádkach 7, České Budějovice, CZ 37005, Czech Republic; e-mail: matena@hbu.cas.cz
3 University of Florida, IFAS, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, 2725 Binion Road, Apopka, FL32703-8504, USA

Many species of chironomids undergo their immature development in habitats that rapidly change in suitability, such as rain pools, phytotelmata, freshly filled ponds or soil layers that seasonally dry out. Strategies for the utilization of these habitats can be divided into two groups: i) physiological or behavioral adaptations of larvae, which enable them to survive unsuitable conditions (in situ resistance) or ii) repeated recolonization of temporarily suitable habitats. In situ resistance, includes desiccation or frost resistance, often in combination with cocoon building and migration of larvae into the sediment. Generally, the species that use the recolonization strategy tend to be better at migration and have a higher fertility and shorter development. Recolonization may include only temporary habitats or temporary habitats and some more stable habitats as well.

Keywords: Insect ecology, midges, colonization, metapopulation, desiccation/frost, resistance, source-sink habitats

Received: July 3, 2002; Accepted: September 4, 2003; Published: November 20, 2003

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