Ecological parameter:  microhabitat/substrate preference

Parameter group: habitat preference parameters

Microhabitat/substrate preference describes the preference of a species for certain microhabitats, which are often characteristic for regions, stream types or the degree of degradation. Microhabitat preferences are directly related to flow velocity, hydrological and thermal regime and food availability. There are 13 microhabitat categories referring to Moog et al. (1999), Schmedtje & Colling (1996) and the AQEM Manual (AQEM consortium 2002).

AQEM consortium 2002. Manual for the application of the AQEM system. A comprehensive method to assess European streams using benthic macroinvertebrates, developed for the purpose of the Water Framework Directive. Version 1.0, February 2002.

Classification system: 10 point assignment system

Category nameAbbreviationExplanation
pelalpelmud (grain size < 0.063 mm)
argyllalargsilt, loam, clay (grain size < 0.063 mm)
psammalpsasand (grain size 0.063-2 mm)
akalakafine to medium-sized gravel (grain size 0.2-2 cm)
micro/mesolithalmilcoarse gravel to hand-sized cobbles (grain size 2-20 cm)
macro/megalithalmalstones, boulders, bedrock (grain size > 20 cm)
hygropetric habitatshpethin layers of water over bedrocks, waterfalls
algaealgmicro- and macroalgae
macrophytesmphmacrophytes, mosses, Characeae, living parts of terrestrial plants
particulate organic matterpomcoarse and fi ne particulate organic matter
woody debriswoowoody debris, twigs, roots, logs (size > 10 cm)
madicolmadedge of water bodies, moist substrates
other substratesothe.g., host of a parasite
Assigned taxa for each higher systematic unit
TaxagroupNumber of assigned taxa / total number of taxa - percentage
Ephemeroptera200 / 344 - 58.1%
Plecoptera101 / 571 - 17.6%
Trichoptera784 / 1428 - 54.9%