Publication details

Macrozoobenthos response to environmental degradation in a heavily modified stream: Case study the Upper Elbe River, Czech Republic



Year of publication 2010
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Biologia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Hydrology and limnology
Keywords macrozoobenthos; pollution; channelization; degradation; the Elbe River
Description Benthic macroinvertebrates are an important indicator of river health. However, their response upon water quality development downstream the pollution outlets considerably depends on the environmental habitat characteristics. Three successive stretches, each of them providing three different mesohabitats were selected for evaluation of the impact of altered metapotamal river bed morphology (channelization) and chemical determinants of water quality on the Upper Elbe River. Despite different levels of stream bed and water quality degradation, micro- and mesohabitat characteristics appeared to be the most important factors determining the diversity of macrozoobenthos in riffle (substrate size structure) and in shoreline (macrophyte community composition and structure) mesohabitats. The diversity of macroinvertebrate communities was highest in riparian mesohabitats compared to stillwater and torrential ones. Saprobic indices increased in downstream direction, thus indicating the decline of water quality.
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