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Bioassessment of streams based on macroinvertebrates — can sampling of some substrate types be excluded?

Kalaninová, Daniela, Krno, Il’ja, Hamerlík, Ladislav, Bulánková, Eva, Beracko, Pavel, Šporka, Ferdinand
Biologia 2017 v.72 no.4 pp. 431-444
aquatic habitat, biological assessment, cost effectiveness, macroinvertebrates, sampling, saprophytes, streams, water management, Central European region, Slovakia
Attempting to help reduce the costs of bioassessment of aquatic habitats, the aim of this study was to estimate how particular substrate types influence the ecological quality evaluation based on a multihabitat scheme proposed by the AQEM/STAR consortium. Samples of macroinvertebrates were taken from the Stupavský potok brook, a small, 4ᵗʰ order calcareous stream in the Small Carpathians in Slovakia (Central Europe). Eight most suitable metrics for small Slovakian streams forming the Slovak multimetric index on seven substrate types were tested and compared with the multihabitat sample. The Saprobic Index (SI) and Index of Biocenotic Region (IBR) showed considerably worse (higher) values in the psammal and the best (lowest) values on coarse mineral substrates (lithal, akal). Similarly, values of the metrics Oligo (%), BMWP Score, Rheoindex, Rhithron Typie Index (%) and EPT reached their worst (lowest) values on psammal and the best (highest) values on coarse mineral substrates. Psammal sample showed the worst ecological quality expressed by the lowest EQR (Ecological Quality Ratio) value, most significantly differing from the multihabitat sample (Multiple Comparisons of Means: Dunnett Contrasts: –8.25, P < 0.01). We conclude that substrate types considerably influence selected metrics. Because of a relatively substantial proportion of psammal in some small Slovakian streams and its marginal influence on the overall ecological quality of the site, we suggest conduct further research addressing the effectiveness of its usage in the water management.