We carried out an overview of the studies on the traits of the meiofauna of the littoral zone of lakes to investigate the question relating to the Raunkiaeran shortfall (lack of knowledge on biological traits). For this purpose, we selected a series of keywords associated with response and effect traits (feeding habits, locomotion and substrate relation, body size, shape and mass, life history, reproductive strategy, respiration and thermal tolerance) and we counted the relative frequency of occurrence in a set of scientific papers retrieved from Web of Science. The results showed that, except for the traits related to diet and feeding habits, the Raunkiaeran shortfall is very pronounced for all meiofaunal taxa of the littoral zone of lakes, especially for those related to soft-bodied organisms. The reason behind this deficiency concerns many aspects ranging from the high taxonomic expertise required to the intrinsic difficulties of observing organisms of such a small size. The relationship with temperature has not been sufficiently explored and formalized in any of the examined traits; this research aspect needs to be rapidly addressed since the prospects of climate change impacts on lake littorals are expected to be particularly severe.

An overview of studies on meiofaunal traits of the littoral zone of lakes

Cifoni M.;Galassi D. M. P.;
2021

Abstract

We carried out an overview of the studies on the traits of the meiofauna of the littoral zone of lakes to investigate the question relating to the Raunkiaeran shortfall (lack of knowledge on biological traits). For this purpose, we selected a series of keywords associated with response and effect traits (feeding habits, locomotion and substrate relation, body size, shape and mass, life history, reproductive strategy, respiration and thermal tolerance) and we counted the relative frequency of occurrence in a set of scientific papers retrieved from Web of Science. The results showed that, except for the traits related to diet and feeding habits, the Raunkiaeran shortfall is very pronounced for all meiofaunal taxa of the littoral zone of lakes, especially for those related to soft-bodied organisms. The reason behind this deficiency concerns many aspects ranging from the high taxonomic expertise required to the intrinsic difficulties of observing organisms of such a small size. The relationship with temperature has not been sufficiently explored and formalized in any of the examined traits; this research aspect needs to be rapidly addressed since the prospects of climate change impacts on lake littorals are expected to be particularly severe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/169656
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