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8 May 2012 Faunal typology of lowland springs in northern Germany
Peter Martin
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Creation of spring typologies for different regions is essential for evaluating spring degradation and for restoration of headwaters. We present a regional spring typology for the German federal state Schleswig-Holstein in the Northern European Lowlands. We used a standardized physicochemical and hydromorphological protocol to map 174 near-natural springs distributed area-wide. Principal component analysis distinguished types of springs (rheocrenes, helocrenes, limnocrenes, and an intermediate type, rheohelocrenes) on the basis of water chemistry and substratum composition. The spatial distribution of the types corresponded with the regional fluvioglacial landscapes of Schleswig-Holstein (hill country, Baltic Sea margin, the high Geest, and the low Geest). The most important discriminating factors were related to water hardness and conductivity. We sampled macroinvertebrates in 60 springs (twice in 40, once in 20) selected based on type and distribution among fluvioglacial landscapes. We detected 121 taxa, most of them Hydrachnidia (25 species), Trichoptera (19), Coleoptera (19), and Gastropoda (12). Many of the species are considered rare for Schleswig-Holstein (regional red-list species). Forty-two species were restricted mainly to springs (crenobiont or crenophilous species). Average taxon richness was similar for helocrenes (23 species), rheohelocrenes (22), and rheocrenes (25), but markedly lower for limnocrenes (11). Species composition differed between rheocrenes and helocrenes and between limnocrenes and all other spring types. Faunal distinctness of rheohelocrenes was less pronounced. We were able to produce a validated spring typology founded on substratum composition, physicochemical factors, and taxon composition. This typology can serve as a guide for restoration of severely degraded springs and headwaters in Schleswig-Holstein and in similar areas of Central Europe.

The Society for Freshwater Science
Peter Martin "Faunal typology of lowland springs in northern Germany," Freshwater Science 31(2), 542-562, (8 May 2012).
Received: 22 July 2011; Accepted: 1 January 2012; Published: 8 May 2012

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