Study of subterranean biodiversity of the upper Neretva River catchment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Authors

  • Maja Zagmajster University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology, SubBioLab, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Ester Premate University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology, SubBioLab, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9388-1454
  • Špela Borko University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology, SubBioLab, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Behare Rexhepi University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology, SubBioLab, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Vojo Milanović Centre for karst and speleology, Branilaca Sarajeva 30, 71 000 Sarajevo
  • Anton Brancelj National Institute of Biology, Department of Organisms and Ecosystems Research, Večna pot 121, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Michaela Brojer Natural History Museum of Vienna, Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna
  • Christophe Douady Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, ENTPE, UMR 5023 Lehna, Villeurbanne
  • Josef Grego University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Biology, SubBioLab, Večna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Milica Jovanović Department of Biology, University of Montenegro, Cetinjski put bb, 81000 Podgorica
  • Florian Malard Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, ENTPE, UMR 5023 Lehna, Villeurbanne
  • Nataša Mori National Institute of Biology, Department of Organisms and Ecosystems Research, Večna pot 121, SI-1000 Ljubljana
  • Vladimir Pešić Department of Biology, University of Montenegro, Cetinjski put bb, 81000 Podgorica

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14720/ns.25.3.91-110

Keywords:

troglobiont, Proasellus, Niphargus, Kerkia, Paladilhiopsis, Typhlocypris, Bryocamptus, water mites, conservation, hyporheic

Abstract

The Dinarides in the Western Balkans host a globally exceptional subterranean biodiversity, but still areas remain with little or no data on subterranean species. In this work, we present the study of subterranean fauna in the upper Neretva River catchment (Eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina), which included the first systematic exploration of the interstitial habitats in the country. During the five-day »Neretva Science Week« in the summer of 2022, we sampled six gravel bars, six springs and one cave. We gathered 268 records (taxon-locality-date) of 116 taxa, with 35 records referring to 27 terrestrial taxa. Nine terrestrial taxa were sampled in a cave, while 19 were found in aquatic samples, mostly from springs. 27 taxa were identified as obligate subterranean (troglobiotic) species, one terrestrial beetle from the cave, and 26 aquatic species, belonging to water mites, snails, and crustaceans. Eight of the aquatic troglobionts present the potential for new species to science. Of the latter, four species were distinguished based on morphology: two species of snails from the families Hydrobiidae and Moitessieriidae, one representative of Ostracoda and one Copepoda. Individuals of the aquatic troglobiotic isopods and amphipods were analysed molecularly, and based on molecular differences, two new species within the genus Proasellus and two within the genus Niphargus were proposed. Further work on all these taxa is needed for the formal descriptions of the new species to science. Despite the short study period, we have shown that the area is rich in endemic groundwater fauna. The hydroelectric power plant constructions planned in the region threaten groundwater communities by altering subterranean habitats and their connectivity. Further studies are needed to properly highlight the great diversity of the subterranean habitats of the Neretva River catchment and its wider region, and to include this knowledge in conservation strategies.

References

Bonacci O, Pipan T, Culver DC. 2009. A framework for karst ecohydrology. Environmental Earth Sciences. 56: 891–900. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00254-008-1189-0 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00254-008-1189-0

Borko Š, Altermatt F, Zagmajster M, Fišer C. 2022. A hotspot of groundwater amphipod diversity on a crossroad of evolutionary radiations. Diversity and Distributions. 28(12): 2765–2777. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13500 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13500

Bou C, Rouch R. 1967. Un nouveau champ de recherches sur la faune aquatique souterraine. Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des sciences Ser. III. Sci. Vie. 265: 369–370.

Boulton AJ, Fenwick GD, Hancock PJ, Harvey MS. 2008. Biodiversity, functional roles and ecosystem services of groundwater invertebrates. Invertebrate Systematics. 22(2): 103–116. https://doi.org/10.1071/IS07024 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/IS07024

Bregović P, Fišer C, Zagmajster M. 2019. Contribution of rare and common species to subterranean species richness patterns. Ecology and Evolution. 9(20): 11606–11618. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5604 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5604

Chappuis PA. 1942. Eine neue Methode zur Untersuchung der Grundwasserfauna. Act. Sci. Math. Natur. Univ. Francisco-Josephina, Kolozsvár. 6: 1–7.

Culver DC, Deharveng L, Bedos A, Lewis JL, Madden M, Reddell JR, Sket B, Trontelj P, White D. 2009. The mid-latitude biodiversity ridge in terrestrial cave fauna. Ecography. 29(1): 120–128. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2005.0906-7590.04435.x

Culver DC, Pipan T. 2014. Shallow subterranean habitats: ecology, evolution and conservation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646173.001.0001

Culver DC, Pipan T. 2019. The biology of caves and other subterranean habitats. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198820765.001.0001

Delić T, Švara V, Coleman CO, Trontelj P, Fišer C. 2017. The giant cryptic amphipod species of the subterranean genus Niphargus (Crustacea, Amphipoda). Zoologica Scripta. 46(6): 740–752. https://doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12252 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12252

Dolédec S, Simon L, Blemus J, Rigal A, Robin J, Mermillod-Blondin F. 2021. Multiple stressors shape invertebrate assemblages and reduce their trophic niche: A case study in a regulated stream. The Science of The Total Environment. 773: 145061. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145061 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145061

Fišer C, Borko Š, Delić T, Kos A, Premate E, Zagmajster M, Zakšek V, Altermatt F. 2022. The European Green Deal misses Europe’s subterranean biodiversity hotspots. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 6(10): 1403–1404. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-022-01859-z DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-022-01859-z

Giachino PM, Vailati D. 2005. Nuovi dati sul genere genere Anthroherpon Reitter, 1889 (Coleoptera Cholevidae Leptodirinae). Bollettino del Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia Giancarlo Ligabue. 29: 149–163.

Grego J. 2020. Revision of the stygobiont gastropod genera Plagigeyeria Tomlin, 1930 and Travunijana Grego & Glöer, 2019 (Mollusca; Gastropoda; Moitessieriidae and Hydrobiidae) in Hercegovina and adjacent regions. European Journal of Taxonomy. 691: 1–56. https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2020.691 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2020.691

Hose GC, Chariton AA, Daam MA, Di Lorenzo T, Galassi DMP, Halse SA, Reboleira ASPS, Robertson AL, Schmidt SI, Korbel KL. 2022: Invertebrate traits, diversity and the vulnerability of groundwater ecosystems. Functional Ecology. 36(9): 2200–2214. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.14125 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.14125

Karaman S. 1935. Die Fauna der unterirdischen Gewässer Jugoslaviens. Verhandlungen der Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie. 7: 46–73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03680770.1935.11902405

Karaman GS. 2014. Further studies on genus Niphargus Schiodte, 1849 (fam. Niphargidae) from Western Balkan Peninsula (Contribution to the knowledge of the Amphipoda 274). Agriculture & Forestry. 60(1): 203–220.

Lefébure T, Douady CJ, Gouy M, Gibert J. 2006. Relationship between morphological taxonomy and molecular divergence within Crustacea: proposal of a molecular threshold to help species delimitation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 40: 435–447. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2006.03.014 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2006.03.014

Linke S, Lehner B, Ouellet Dallaire C, Ariwi J, Grill G, Anand M, Beames P, Burchard-Levine V, Maxwell S, Moidu H, et al. 2019. Global hydro-environmental sub-basin and river reach characteristics at high spatial resolution. Scientific Data. 6: 283. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0300-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0300-6

Minh BQ, Schmidt HA, Chernomor O, Schrempf D, Woodhams MD, Von Haeseler A, Lanfear R, Teeling E. 2020. IQ-TREE 2: New models and efficient methods for phylogenetic inference in the genomic era. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 37(5): 1530–1534. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msaa015 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msaa015

Morvan C, Malard F, Paradis E, Lefébure T, Konecny−Dupré L, Douady CJ. 2013. Timetree of Aselloidea reveals species diversification dynamics in groundwater. Systematic Biology. 62(4): 512–522. https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syt015 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syt015

Randolf S, Andjus S, Tubić B, Bruckner H, Brojer M, Zagmajster M. 2023. New records of Nevrorthus apatelios H. Aspöck, U. Aspöck & Hölzel, 1977 (Neuroptera: Nevrorthidae) from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Natura Sloveniae. 23(3).

Sket B. 2012. Diversity patterns in the dinaric karst. In: White WB, Culver DC, editors. Encyclopedia of Caves. 2. ed. London: Academic Press. p. 228–238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-383832-2.00031-1

SubBioDB. 2023. Subterranean Biodiversity Database. Managed by Subterranean Biology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana; [accessed on 1.2.2023]. https://db.subbio.net

Ward JV, Palmer MA. 1994. Distribution patterns of interstitial freshwater meiofauna over a range of spatial scales, with emphasis on alluvial river-aquifer systems. Hydrobiology. 287(1): 147–156. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00006903 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00006903

Zagmajster M, Culver DC, Sket, B. 2008. Species richness patterns of obligate subterranean beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) in a global biodiversity hotspot - Effect of scale and sampling intensity. Diversity and Distributions. 14(1): 95–105. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00423.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00423.x

Zagmajster M, Eme D, Fišer C, Galassi DMP, Marmonier P, Stoch F, Cornu JF, Malard F. 2014. Geographic variation in range size and beta diversity of groundwater crustaceans: Insights from habitats with low thermal seasonality. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 23(10): 1135–1145. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12200 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12200

Downloads

Published

31.12.2023

How to Cite

Zagmajster, M., Premate, E., Borko, Špela, Rexhepi, B., Milanović, V., Brancelj, A., Brojer, M., Douady, C., Grego, J., Jovanović, M., Malard, F., Mori, N., & Pešić, V. (2023). Study of subterranean biodiversity of the upper Neretva River catchment in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Natura Sloveniae, 25(3), 91-110. https://doi.org/10.14720/ns.25.3.91-110

Similar Articles

1-10 of 78

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.