The relationship between electrical conductivity and selected macroinvertebrate communities in four river systems of south-west Victoria, Australia

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    Abstract

    In order to relate macroinvertebrate fauna to electrical conductivity (EC), a survey of selected orders of macroinvertebrates was conducted in the Glenelg, Hopkins, Merri and Barwon River Catchments in south-west Victoria, Australia. The survey consisted of sampling 21 paired sites at confluences of streams. There was little difference between the in-stream habitat but there was a range of differences in EC between each of the paired sites. The dissimilarity of macroinvertebrate fauna between the paired sites was compared to the proportional difference in EC and other water quality variables (dissolved oxygen, water temperature, pH, NO2-N, NO3-N, PO 4 and turbidity). This allowed the elimination of EC being confounded with geographical scale parameters and took into account other water quality parameters that may be confounded with EC. A positive relationship was found between the dissimilarity of the fauna at each of the two paired sites and the proportional difference in EC. No such relationship was found for any other measured water quality variable. The results of this survey show that macroinvertebrate community structure is associated with EC of the river systems investigated after eliminating large scale geographical patterns, in-stream habitat and the measured water quality parameters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-170
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Salt Lake Research
    Volume7
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

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