Harpacticoid assemblages (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) in the hyporheic zone of four streams in central Slovenia


  • Nataša Mori National Institute of Biology, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Anton Brancelj National Institute of Biology, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, University of Nova Gorica, Vipavska c. 13, SI-5000 Nova Gorica, Slovenia




microcrustacea, species-environment relationship, biodiversity, distribution, groundwater


Harpacticoids are an important component of meiofaunal assemblages in hyporheic zone. The goal of this study was to investigate distribution patterns of interstitial harpacticoid assemblages from four pre-Alpine streams originating in the Dinaric Karst and flowing into the Ljubljanica River. The sampling was conducted in 2002 at 12 locations distributed at a distance of approximately 1 km along each stream including tributaries, at a depth of 30–60 cm in the wetted channel (three sites per location) and depths from 65 to 160 cm on the stream banks (one site per location) using a Bou-Rouch pump. Concurrently, the interstitial water’s physical and chemical parameters were measured at two sites within each location (streambed, streambank). A total of 24 harpacticoid species were found, 12 of which were stygobionts (i.e., species living exclusively in groundwaters). Among them, two previously unknown species for science were found. Harpacticoid assemblage composition, with the exception of those from the Iška stream, did not differ significantly between the streams, indicating interconnectivity of the interstitial milieu. Sediment structure, amounts of particulate organic matter, conductivity and redox conditions seemed to have certain impacts, indicating the importance of hydrological and geological settings for harpacticoid assemblages.


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How to Cite

Mori, N., & Brancelj, A. (2021). Harpacticoid assemblages (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) in the hyporheic zone of four streams in central Slovenia. Natura Sloveniae, 23(1), 5-20. https://doi.org/10.14720/ns.23.1.5-20

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