Macroinvertebrate fauna of an iron-rich stream in the wet tropics of Australia: a comparative analysis of communities using a rapid bioassessment protocol

Johnson, Pieter T.J., and Ritchie, Euan G. (2003) Macroinvertebrate fauna of an iron-rich stream in the wet tropics of Australia: a comparative analysis of communities using a rapid bioassessment protocol. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 49 (1). pp. 331-338.

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Abstract

The present study examined an iron-rich stream in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia, and used a Rapid Bioassessment Protocol to compare its macroinvertebrate fauna with that of (1) a nearby, undisturbed stream and (2) the second order stream formed from their junction. The undisturbed stream supported significantly greater levels of macroinvertebrate abundance and taxonomic richness than either the iron-rich or junction stream. The latter two streams did not differ significantly for either measure, suggesting that iron-layering effects maintain potency even at increased distances from the source (>1 km). Percent Similarity (PSij) and Shannon-Weiner Diversity (H′) indices were used to compare the streams' macroinvertebrate communities, while two biotic indices (SIGNAL) were employed to estimate water quality. The undisturbed stream exhibited greater invertebrate diversity and higher water quality relative to the other two streams. Species assemblage patterns were comparable to iron-rich stream studies from the temperate region: mayfly and caddisfly nymphs were almost completely absent from the sites of iron-deposition while they comprised the majority of the invertebrates in the undisturbed stream. The conservation issues and management implications surrounding the release of water from stratified dams and reservoirs are discussed.

Item ID: 4951
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: dams; iron-rich; macrovertebrate communities; rapid bioassessment protocols; wet tropics
Additional Information:

Reproduced with permission from Memoirs of the Queensland Museum

ISSN: 0079-8835
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2009 04:29
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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