Crustacean and aquatic insect assemblages in the Mediterranean coastal ecosystems of Empord`a wetlands (NE Iberian peninsula)

Coastal wetlands are characterized by high biodiversity, which is one of the main criteria considered when establishing protection policies or when proposing adequate management actions. In this study, the crustacean and aquatic insect composition of the Empord`a wetlands is described. These two faunal groups contribute highly to the total biodiversity in these wetlands but are seldom considered when managing natural areas. A selection (84 sampling points) of all water body types present in the Empord`a wetlands were sampled monthly (surber and dip net with a 250 μm mesh). Sampling was carried out during 3 surveys (1991-92, 1996-97 and 1999-2000). A rich fauna of 125 crustacean and 295 aquatic insect taxa was identified. We characterized each water body type using the most abundant species and the relative species richness of the taxonomic groups. A classification of the water body types, according to similarity between inventories, groups the brackish and hyperhaline systems in one cluster and the various freshwater systems in another one. Among freshwater systems, lotic waters and freshwater wetlands have a high similarity, whereas rice fields and freshwater springs have a low similarity ​
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