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Water 2015, 7(8), 4511-4522; doi:10.3390/w7084511

Agricultural Rivers at Risk: Dredging Results in a Loss of Macroinvertebrates. Preliminary Observations from the Narew Catchment, Poland

1
Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, ul. Nowoursynowska 159, Warsaw 02-776, Poland
2
Department of Environmental Improvement, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, ul. Nowoursynowska 159, Warsaw 02-776, Poland
3
Interfaculty Studies of Environmental Conservation, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, ul. Nowoursynowska 159, Warsaw 02-776, Poland
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Young-Seuk Park
Received: 25 June 2015 / Accepted: 5 August 2015 / Published: 17 August 2015
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Abstract

Ecosystem deterioration in small lowland agricultural rivers that results from river dredging entails a significant threat to the appropriate ecohydrological conditions of these water bodies, expressed as homogenization of habitats and loss of biodiversity. Our study was aimed at a comparison of abundance and taxonomic structure of bottom-dwelling macroinvertebrates in dredged and non-dredged stretches of small lowland rivers and tributaries of the middle Narew River, namely: Czaplinianka, Turośnianka, Dąb, and Ślina. The experimental setup was (1) to collect samples of the bottom material from the river stretches that either persisted in a non-modified state (dredging was not done there in the last few years) or had been subjected to river dredging in the year of sampling; and (2) to analyze the abundance and taxonomic structure of macroinvertebrates in the collected samples. The study revealed that at the high level of statistical significance (from p = 0.025 to p = 0.001), the total abundance of riverbed macroinvertebrates in the dredged stretches of the rivers analyzed was approximately 70% lower than in non-dredged areas. We state that the dredging of small rivers in agricultural landscapes seriously affects their ecological status by negatively influencing the concentrations and species richness of benthic macroinvertebrates. View Full-Text
Keywords: macroinvertebrates; aquatic ecosystems; river regulation; dredging; river; Narew macroinvertebrates; aquatic ecosystems; river regulation; dredging; river; Narew
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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

Grygoruk, M.; Frąk, M.; Chmielewski, A. Agricultural Rivers at Risk: Dredging Results in a Loss of Macroinvertebrates. Preliminary Observations from the Narew Catchment, Poland. Water 2015, 7, 4511-4522.

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