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Water 2015, 7(1), 63-80; doi:10.3390/w7010063

Long-Term Changes in the Water Quality and Macroinvertebrate Communities of a Subtropical River in South China

1
Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, and Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Changchun 130024, China
2
State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
3
Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4134, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jun Xu
Received: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
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Abstract

Subtropical rivers support a highly diverse array of benthic macroinvertebrates. In this study, by combining historical data and new data, we identified specific changes in the Guanlan River, in South China, from 1981 to 2011, and evaluated the effectiveness of an ecological restoration project under highly polluted conditions. From 1981 to 2011, the water quality in the Guanlan River underwent three major stages. With the deterioration of water quality, there was an overall decrease in the species number of macroinvertebrates in the Guanlan River, an increase in macroinvertebrate density, and a reduction of the biodiversity, and a reduction of functional feeding groups. In 2011, after five years of comprehensive remediation, the Guanlan River was somewhat improved. Macroinvertebrate biodiversity in the middle reach of the Guanlan River, where a key ecological restoration engineering project was implemented, did not differ significantly from other sites. This finding indicates that the effectiveness of ecological restoration measures in highly polluted rivers, particularly at the reach-scale, is very limited and even ineffective. View Full-Text
Keywords: macroinvertebrates; high pollution; biodiversity; functional feeding groups; subtropical areas; developing country macroinvertebrates; high pollution; biodiversity; functional feeding groups; subtropical areas; developing country
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, K.; He, C.; Zhuang, J.; Zhang, Z.; Xiang, H.; Wang, Z.; Yang, H.; Sheng, L. Long-Term Changes in the Water Quality and Macroinvertebrate Communities of a Subtropical River in South China. Water 2015, 7, 63-80.

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