Composition of the Macroinvertebrates of the Hilly-Mountainous Stream in South-Western Serbia

Nebojša V. Živić1, Tatjana Babović-Jakšić1, Nenad Labus1, Slavica Tomić2, Ana Atanacković3



1 University of Priština, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Serbia, Ivo Lola Ribara 29, 38220 Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia, , Phone: +381641430812, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2 „JKP" Raška, Serbia

3 Institute for Biological Research "Siniša Stanković", University of Belgrade





The aim of this paper is to present the composition and structure of aquatic macroinvertebrate fauna of the Trnavska River. The Trnavska River is a hilly-mountainous watercourse located in the south-western part of Serbia (the Ibar River drainage, the Danube Basin). It is characterized by a rocky and pebble bottom. The downstream stretch of the river is under the influence of human activities and regulated by concrete slabs down to the confluence into the Raška River. A total of 48 macroinvertebrate taxa were recorded. Insects were the most diverse taxa group with a share of 83% of all taxa recorded. Trichoptera were found to be the most diversified order of insects (11 species). Insects were found to be the principal component of the macroinvertebrate community in respect to quantitative composition, as well, with a share of 67.08% of the total community density. Amphipoda (Crustacea) were found to be the subdominant component in respect to community density. The Trnavska River is the south-western boundary of the distribution of the Gammarus fossarum in Serbia. Mixed populations of G. fossarum and G. balcanicus were recorded in the upper stretch of the Trnavska River (sites 1-3).

Keywords: Macrozoobenthos, hilly-mountainous stream, Gammarus.



The aim of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge of small hilly-mountainous streams of Serbia and the Balkan Peninsula. Although research of hilly-mountainous streams and rivers in Serbia has a long term tradition (Pljakić 1952, 1962; Filipović, 1967, 1976; Marković, 1995, 1998; Simić, 1993; Živić and Marković, 2007; Živić et al., 2004, 2008), there is still a need for extensive research on the biota of these fragile habitats, in order to complete our knowledge and understanding of the functioning of related ecosystems. Ecosystems of hilly-mountainous streams are characterised by specific biodiversity (Hering et al., 2006), which should be protected. The total invertebrate diversity in small streams can be very high.

For example, in the first-order streams in Germany the presence of 1,004 invertebrate taxa has been described (Wallace and Eggert, 2009). Streams and rivers are under the influence of various changes due to anthropogenic activities affecting the structure and functioning of the ecosystems (Matthews and Bao, 1991). Biological response and sensitivity of different organisms to physical and chemical changes of water are used as an indicator for assessing the habitat quality (Karr, 1991; Rosenberg and Resh, 1993). Biological indicators show the intensity of anthropogenic stress. Benthic macroinvertebrates are sensitive to environmental changes and are widely used as biological indicators of the quality of the river (Russev et al., 1981; Russev 1993; Yaneva, 1988).