Spatial displacement of Odonata in south-west Siberia


A brief account is presented of mass dragonfly migrations observed previously in Russia and West Siberia in particular. A mass migration in Libellula quadrimaculata is described in detail. It occurred on 1 July 1981 in the south-western part of the West Siberian Plain in the valley of the Ishym River. From 1968 to 2008 we studied population dynamics, spatial distribution and displacement in dragonflies in the West Siberian forest-steppe. Detailed research was conducted at the biological station of the Russian Academy of Sciences near the Chany Lake. Mass migrations in L. quadrimaculata and some Leucorrhinia spp. followed situations with an extremely high population density and local mass aggregations and occurred with a period of c.10 years, correlated with fluctuation of water level in the region, mainly in the south. It is suggested that dragonfly migration not only optimizes their population size but increases the rate of transport of chemical elements and organic matter to dry land from eutrophic water bodies, which increases the importance of dragonflies to ecosystems at large.

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