Spatial distribution and short-term changes of benthic macrofauna in Lake Balaton (Hungary)

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Spatial and short-term changes in the composition and density of the macrobenthic fauna were studied in Lake Balaton, a large shallow lake in Central Europe (Hungary). Spatial differences were examined along five transects and short-term changes at two stations of different trophic state. The macrobenthos consisted almost exclusively of Tubificidae and Chironomidae of the species Chironomus gr. plumosus, Procladius choreus, Tanypus punctipennis, Microchironomus tener and Cladotanytarsus sp. The Oligochaeta biomass showed a significant short-term decrease from 1995 to 1998, and their average biomass proved to be 0.86 and 0.79 g WFW (wet formalin weight) m-2 in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Chironomidae showed significant spatial and short-term differences following variations in primary production. Higher primary production resulted in higher biomass (up to 153.4 g WFW m-2 and 9785 ind. m-2 in 1995) of Chironomus-Procladius community, while lower primary production resulted in a very low biomass and abundance of the predatory Procladius-Tanypus-Microchironomus community (average: 3.16 g WFW m-2 and 1311 ind. m-2 in 1997). As compared to other lakes of similar climatic conditions, the total production of oligohaetes and chironomids proved to be very low in 1996 and 1997 (49.2 and 54.1 KJ m-2 yr-1, respectively). The 90% of the average chironomid production of Lake Balaton in 1996 and 1997 belonged to Ch. gr. plumosus (5.63 and 5.13 g m-2 yr-1), P. choreus (4.3 and 3.47 g m-2 yr-1) and T. punctipennis (0.27 and 2.21 g m-2 yr-1).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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