Chelli A., Moulaï R., Djemai A.

Does the Tichi Haf dam construction affect dragonfly and damselfly (Odonata : Insecta) assemblages of the Boussellam watercourse (central north Algeria)? A preliminary study

Abstract This paper reports a pioneer study dealing with the impact of dam construction on Odonata communities, because no similar study has been undertaken in Algeria and the consequences of this artificialization on the Odonata assemblages have rarely been studied elsewhere. The main purpose of this study was to determine if the Tichi Haf dam is really having a negative effect on the Odonata communities living on the Boussellam watercourse, as there has hitherto been a lack of knowledge about its odonatofauna and aquatic microinvertebrates. This study showed that changes due to the construction of this dam, involving riparian vegetation, bank aspect and water parameters, affected the Odonata assemblages inhabiting both sides of the dam wall. The richness and abundance of dragonflies and damselflies found upstream from the dam is quite different from those found downstream from the dam. The survey also identified four new species for the Bejaia region. Among these, we report on the rediscovery of the critically endangered (EN) Calopteryx exul in Algeria, recorded in the nineteenth century and deemed to have been extinct after an absence of more than a century. The presence of an extant population C. exul in this location does not correspond to any historical locality reported for this species.


Keywords Bejaia; Odonata; Boussellam watercourse; Tichi Haf dam; anthropization

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