Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Analyse des tendances d'évolution de peuplements de macroinvertébrés benthiques dans un contexte de réchauffement des eaux

Abstract : Evidence for climate change effects on biodiversity at global scale is now unequivocal. Among impaired ecosystems, running waters are particularly vulnerable to climate fluctuations. Changes in aquatic community structure and composition are then considered as integrative signals of the ecological responses to these climate changes. Under certain circumstances, these signals can be also exacerbated, confounded or potentially obscured by other abiotic variations.Therefore, the aim of this PhD was to assess the relative effect of different drivers on longterm trends in benthic macroinvertebrate communities, in the context of global climate change. Our investigations were focused more precisely on the Middle Loire River since, as lowland large river, it is particularly concerned by the potential impact of multiple stressors. Regarding the choice of the biological model, benthic fauna has been selected according to its acknowledged interest in bioassessment of running waters, especially thanks to a great diversity of potential responses to environmental disturbances and a number of methodological advantages.First, we investigated the temporal changes of ten major abiotic parameters over three decades (1977-2008). We highlighted the gradual warming of the Loire River (c. +1.2°C in the mean annual temperature over the three decades), coupled with a significant drop in mean discharge (c. -25%), both trends being exacerbated during the warm period (May-August). In the same time, although these changes were expected to induce a rise in the trophic level of the river, we emphasized a confounding effect of the wastewater treatment improvement (i.e. phosphorus input reduction), leading mainly to a drop in phosphate concentrations and a phytoplankton limitation.Second, we assessed the long-term structural and functional responses (i.e. over a 30-year period) of invertebrates of the Loire River to both major concomitant trends. On the one hand, we highlighted that water warming and to a lesser extent discharge reduction were significantly involved in the disappearance or decrease in rheophilic and psychrophilic taxa (e.g. Chloroperlidae). On the other hand, they explained also a major part of the appearance and increase of limnophilic and thermophilic taxa, including invasive species (e.g. Corbicula sp.). In terms of functional responses, these changes were illustrated by an adaptive evolution of the biological trait profiles in agreement with a priori predictions that is possible to make in a theoretical framework. However, this shift towards a generalist and pollution tolerant assemblage was partially confounded by improvement in water quality, explaining the settlement of new pollution-sensitive taxa during the last years (e.g. Philopotamidae). Although no taxonomic or functional resilience was observed, this trend was translated, via biological traits, into a probable transfer of trophic resources from phytoplankton to periphytic biofilms and macrophytes.Finally, we explored the multi-site spatial variability of these biotic and abiotic trends and we showed that our results as a whole, which supported already a number of observations in Europe, exhibited also a strong homogeneous pattern along the Middle Loire River (on nearly 300 km) and among different hydrosystems (e.g. Loire, Seine, Meuse).
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : ABES STAR :  Contact
Submitted on : Monday, July 15, 2013 - 10:28:13 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 11:54:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 4:14:21 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-00844377, version 1



Mathieu Floury. Analyse des tendances d'évolution de peuplements de macroinvertébrés benthiques dans un contexte de réchauffement des eaux. Sciences agricoles. Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand II, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013CLF22344⟩. ⟨tel-00844377⟩



Record views


Files downloads