Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2015, Vol.22(13), pp.9864-9876
The aim of this study was to assess land use effects on the density, biomass, and instantaneous secondary production (IP) of benthic invertebrates in a fifth-order tropical river. Invertebrates were sampled at 11 stations along the Rio das Mortes (upper Rio Grande, Southeast Brazil) in the dry and the rainy season 2010/2011. Invertebrates were counted, determined, and measured to estimate their density, biomass, and IP. Water chemical characteristics, sediment heterogeneity, and habitat structural integrity were assessed in parallel. Total invertebrate density, biomass, and IP were higher in the dry season than those in the rainy season, but did not differ significantly among sampling stations along the river. However, taxon-specific density, biomass, and IP differed similarly among sampling stations along the river and between seasons, suggesting that these metrics had the same bioindication potential. Variability in density, biomass, and IP was mainly explained by seasonality and the percentage of sandy sediment in the riverbed, and not directly by urban or agricultural land use. Our results suggest that the consistently high degradation status of the river, observed from its headwaters to mouth, weakened the response of the invertebrate community to specific land use impacts, so that only local habitat characteristics and seasonality exerted effects.
Benthic community ; Ecosystem processes ; Land use impacts ; Agriculture ; Urbanization ; Bioindication
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