Monday, July 5, 2021

Dragonflies face catastrophic decline

Male Telephlebia brevicauda dragonfly
Male Telephlebia brevicauda dragonfly
The Victorian Naturalist

‘What will happen to them? Notes on some dragonfly (Odonata) species that are susceptible to the impacts of global warming-induced climate change’ is the title of a new paper co-authored by Georges Riverkeeper Aquatic Ecologist Marion Huxley and published in The Victorian Naturalist.

According to the abstract: “Many aquatic macroinvertebrates that require specific habitat niches are expected to relocate in response to global warming-induced climate change. For some species, relocation will not be possible because of geographic constraints or complete loss of the required habitat […] While numerous species are at risk, this paper details only examples of habitats most likely to be impacted. Twelve species requiring these habitats are discussed. Species most at risk are those requiring alpine, sub-alpine and montane habitats. The combined effects of reduced rainfall and increased temperatures have been identified as the factors most likely to degrade these habitats catastrophically. Australia has limited alpine, sub-alpine and montane regions, and little or no alternative habitat for these species. Also, species requiring spring-fed streams are at risk due to reduced renewal of groundwater, while those that inhabit large slow-flowing rivers, particularly in the Murray Darling Basin, are likely to be impacted by algal blooms.”

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Image credit: ‘Male Telephlebia brevicauda dragonflyThe Victorian Naturalist.