Aquatic beetles in Tatra lakes

mapping the diversity of aquatic beetles in lakes, streams and rivers of the Tatra Mountains

According to published data, the Tatras are inhabited by about 50 species of aquatic beetles, with diving beetles (Dytiscidae) being the most numerous. The processing of samples collected in 2007 – 2018 from various Tatra Mts aquatic habitats, obtaining DNA barcodes, improved data on biodiversity and supplementing the reference data necessary for the identification of aquatic beetles inhabiting aquatic biotopes of (sub)alpine zone is the main focus of Patrik Macko master thesis. The research is supported mainly by projects VEGA 0030 and VEGA 0101.

Barcoding in monitoring

cooperation on the implementation of DNA barcoding and metabarcoding in water quality monitoring

The representatives of the DNAqua-Net COST project and ICPDR (International Commission for Protection of the Danube River) have agreed that during the next Joint Danube Survey – JDS4, the DNA barcoding and metabarcoding will also be used for the first time.
As Slovakia is (through the Water Research Institute) a participating country, we cooperate with the WRI on testing the use of barcoding and metabarcoding in monitoring of water bodies in Slovakia and improving the reference databases of “Danube” species.

Water bugs in Tatra lakes

barcoding Heteroptera fauna of Tatra Mountains

Water bugs (Heteroptera) do not represent a major group of alpine and subalpine aquatic ecosystems, yet they are a stable part of their fauna. Similarly to beetles, this activity mainly deals with the material taken during the multi-year research of benthic invertebrates of the aquatic ecosystems of the Tatras.
Barcoding water bugs is the main focus of Michaela Šamulková bachelor thesis and is mainly supported by the VEGA 0030 project and partly also by APVV-SK-PL-2015-0042.

Stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Slovakia

barcoding stonefly fauna of Slovakia

There are about 100 species of stoneflies in Slovakia, most often grouped in two families Nemouridae and Leuctridae. Stoneflies are not very good flyers and often have specific environmental demands. That’s why many species are local endemics and are an excellent group for assessing the ecological state of aquatic ecosystems.
In cooperation with Matej Žiak from the Andrej Kmeť Museum (SNM) in Martin, we collect and analyze samples of stoneflies in Slovakia and process also material collected with colleagues from the University of Łodz (PL) during the Polish-Slovak bilateral project APVV-SK-PL-2015- 0042 in order to cover as much of our stonefly fauna as possible with DNA barcodes.

Metabarcoding in Tatra lakes

application of modern molecular methods in biodiversity research of alpine lakes

The Tatra Mountains have long been an object of interest (not only) of Slovak hydrobiologists. Due to their location they are inhabited by specific fauna, which is also very sensitive to even minor environmental changes. Quality knowledge of the biodiversity of (sub)alpine lakes is therefore essential for their effective protection.
This activity is aimed at improving the reference databases of DNA barcodes of the Tatra Mts aquatic invertebrates and subsequent use of DNA metabarcoding to determine the species composition of selected lakes and ponds and to compare the results with those obtained using conventional hydrobiological methods.
The research is part of diploma thesis of Onderj Vargovčík and is mainly supported by the VEGA 0030 project, partly also by APVV-SK-PL-2015-0042 and MVTS.

Elmidae of the World

barcoding World fauna of riffle beetles (Elmidae)

The family Elmidae groups around 1,500 species of aquatic riffle beetles that are characterized by the fact that they live underwater all their lives. Thanks to their longevity and water quality requirements, they can provide us with information on both short and long term environmental changes and are useful in monitoring freshwater ecosystems.
As part of the research of the World fauna of these interesting beetles, we also produce DNA barcodes of species occurring in Slovakia.

Authors of  pictures: Matej Žiak, Fedor Čiampor, Zuzana Čiamporová-Zaťovičová, Tomáš Čejka

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