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Effect of key water quality variables on macroinvertebrate and fish communities within naturally acidic wallum streams

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Aleicia HollandAleicia Holland, Leo Duivenvoorden, Susan KinnearSusan Kinnear
Adverse impacts of acidification on aquatic biota have been observed worldwide, however, most reports are based on freshwaters acidified from anthropogenic means. By contrast, naturally low pH values may not affect biota within naturally acidic freshwaters. This field study provides information on the water quality, macroinvertebrate and fish communities in little-studied, naturally acidic wallum streams, in Central Queensland, Australia. Mid-range pH sites (pH 5–6) were compared with low pH sites (pH 5–3.8) to investigate the effect of pH and other key water quality variables on these communities. Field data indicated that pH had less of an effect in these systems in terms of biotic changes compared with other water quality variables, with dissolved oxygen (% saturation) identified as the key driver for changes in macroinvertebrate composition. Fish were present at all sites, including those with pH ,4. Several possible explanations for this lack of pH effect are discussed. These results provide support for the reduced importance of acidity, relative to other water quality parameters, in naturally acidic waters. The work also provides baseline data on the biota of little-studied wallum streams.

History

Volume

66

Issue

1

Start Page

50

End Page

59

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1448-6059

ISSN

1323-1650

Location

Australia

Publisher

C S I R O Publishing

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Industry, Vocational Training and Access Education Division; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; School of Medical and Applied Sciences (2013- );

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Marine and freshwater research.

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