The effect of fine sedimentation on tropical stream macroinvertebrate assemblages: a comparison using flow-through artificial stream channels and recirculating mesocosms

Connolly, Niall M., and Pearson, Richard G. (2007) The effect of fine sedimentation on tropical stream macroinvertebrate assemblages: a comparison using flow-through artificial stream channels and recirculating mesocosms. Hydrobiologia, 592 (1). pp. 423-438.

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Abstract

In-situ artificial stream channels and ex-situ laboratory mesocosms were used to measure the responses of macroinvertebrate assemblages, from upland and lowland tropical streams, to high loads of fine clay sediment. Significant responses were observed mainly in the in-situ channels in the upland stream, where densities and the number of taxa were lower in the treatment channels than in controls. There was no evidence of any taxon being particularly sensitive to sedimentation, with a general decrease in densities across several taxa and differences only detectable for abundant taxa. Animals moved downstream in response to the treatment, but only a short distance within the channels. However, further colonization after the treatment was impeded in the treatment channels. In the mesocosm experiments, the upland macroinvertebrate assemblage demonstrated some negative effects; however, the lowland fauna was very tolerant to sedimentation, even when exposure was extended to 15 days. Together, the mesocosm and in-situ experiments indicate that there is a behavioural response to sedimentation because of a change in the habitat, and that the lowland macroinvertebrate assemblage is more tolerant of sedimentation, at least in the short term.

Item ID: 2647
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: sedimentation; suspended solids; macroinvertebrates; drift; tropical streams; pollution
ISSN: 1573-5117
Date Deposited: 07 May 2009 03:07
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 49%
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