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J Insect Sci. 2011;11:58. doi: 10.1673/031.011.5801.

Assessment of darkling beetle fauna after implementation of an environmental restoration program in the southern Iberian Peninsula affected by the Aznalcóllar toxic spill.

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1
Department of Zoology, University of Córdoba, Campus Universitario Rabanales, Edif. Darwin, E-14071-Córdoba, Spain. ba1cataa@uco.es

Abstract

This study is part of the Follow up Restoration Program of animal communities that colonize the Guadiamar River Basin. In 1998, the area was affected by a release of toxic sludge after the retention walls of the Aznalcóllar Mines (southern Iberian Peninsula) broke. The main objective of this study was to assess the current state of the population of Tenebrionidae, one of the most representative groups of edaphic Coleoptera inhabiting the Guadiamar River Basin. This paper analyses the progress made by the darkling beetle community six years after the disaster occurred and the Restoration Program was implemented. The study is based on faunistic data from systematic sampling carried out for six years to monitor plots distributed across the damaged area. To make an overall assessment of the tenebrionid fauna in relation to adjacent areas qualitative and quantitative ecological indices were applied, and temporal follow up and biogeographical comparisons were also made. The results indicate that, on the whole, tenebrionid fauna was somewhat affected by the Aznalcóllar Mine spill, and that a greater loss of fauna was detected closer to the accident site. The analysis of the temporal population dynamic suggests that the most affected zones are undergoing a process of re-colonization. However, this process varies widely by species and has not yet reached the expected levels of a non-affected river basin in the southern Iberian Peninsula.

PMID:
21864152
PMCID:
PMC3281482
DOI:
10.1673/031.011.5801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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