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Water 2015, 7(11), 6378-6403; doi:10.3390/w7116378

Integrated Ecological River Health Assessments, Based on Water Chemistry, Physical Habitat Quality and Biological Integrity

Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea
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Academic Editors: Young-Seuk Park and Soon-Jin Hwang
Received: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 6 October 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
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Abstract

This study evaluated integrative river ecosystem health using stressor-based models of physical habitat health, chemical water health, and biological health of fish and identified multiple-stressor indicators influencing the ecosystem health. Integrated health responses (IHRs), based on star-plot approach, were calculated from qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI), nutrient pollution index (NPI), and index of biological integrity (IBI) in four different longitudinal regions (Groups I–IV). For the calculations of IHRs values, multi-metric QHEI, NPI, and IBI models were developed and their criteria for the diagnosis of the health were determined. The longitudinal patterns of the river were analyzed by a self-organizing map (SOM) model and the key major stressors in the river were identified by principal component analysis (PCA). Our model scores of integrated health responses (IHRs) suggested that mid-stream and downstream regions were impaired, and the key stressors were closely associated with nutrient enrichment (N and P) and organic matter pollutions from domestic wastewater disposal plants and urban sewage. This modeling approach of IHRs may be used as an effective tool for evaluations of integrative ecological river health.. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrative health responses (IHRs) model; river ecosystem health; stressor identification; chemical pollution integrative health responses (IHRs) model; river ecosystem health; stressor identification; chemical pollution
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

Kim, J.Y.; An, K.-G. Integrated Ecological River Health Assessments, Based on Water Chemistry, Physical Habitat Quality and Biological Integrity. Water 2015, 7, 6378-6403.

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