Evidence for systemic changes in the benthic fauna of tropical estuaries as a result of urbanization

Inglis, Graeme J., and Kross, Jacob E. (2000) Evidence for systemic changes in the benthic fauna of tropical estuaries as a result of urbanization. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 41 (7-12). pp. 367-376.

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The effects of urban development cause substantial physical changes in coastal waterways through hardening and reclamation of river banks, alteration of water flow, and diffuse and point-source discharges of pollutants. The cumulative effects of urbanization on the fauna of estuaries are not well understood. This study examined the benthic infauna of two urban and three rural estuaries near Townsville, North Queensland. A range of univariate and multivariate statistics was used to relate variation in the benthic assemblages to concentrations of contaminants (heavy metals and hydrocarbons) within the sediments of each estuary. Sediments in the most developed estuary contained concentrations of heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons that were several orders of magnitude greater than those from non-urban waterways. The fauna at these sites was dominated by cirratulid and sternaspid polychaetes and lacked filter-feeding bivalves and other molluscs that were common in less developed estuaries. These differences were generally consistent throughout each estuary, indicating estuary-wide patterns of change, that were most strongly associated with spatial patterns in the distribution of Pb, Cu and hydrocarbons.

Item ID: 12951
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: heavy metals; macrobenthos; petroleum hydro-carbons
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2012 11:45
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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