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Water 2018, 10(9), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091195

Threshold Responses of Macroinvertebrate Communities to Stream Velocity in Relation to Hydropower Dam: A Case Study from The Guayas River Basin (Ecuador)

1
Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Research Institute for Aquaculture No 1, Dinh Bang, Tu Son, Bac Ninh 220000, Vietnam
3
Provincial Centre of Environmental Research, Godshuizenlaan 95, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
4
Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Voleru Street 4, Riga LV-1007, Latvia
5
Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Department of Nature and Food Sciences, University College Ghent, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
6
Centro del Agua y Desarollo Sustentable, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas, Facultad de Ingeniería Marítima, Ciencias Biológicas, Oceánicas y Recursos Naturales, Escuela Superior Politécnica del litoral (ESPOL), Campus Gustavo Galindo, km. 30.5 Via Perimetral, P.O. Box 09-01-5863, Guayaquil, Ecuador
7
School of Environmental Science and Technology, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, No 1 Dai Co Viet, Hanoi, Vietnam, No 1 Dai Co Viet, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Abstract

The Guayas River basin is one of the most important water resources in Ecuador, but the expansion of human activities has led to a degraded water quality. The purpose of this study was (1) to explore the importance of physical-chemical variables in structuring the macroinvertebrate communities and (2) to determine if the thresholds in stream velocity related to macroinvertebrate community composition could be identified in the Guayas River basin. Thus, macroinvertebrates and physical–chemical water quality variables were sampled at 120 locations during the dry season of 2013 in the Guayas River basin. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was performed to identify relevant physical–chemical characteristics of the river influencing the distribution of the macroinvertebrate communities. Threshold indicator taxa analysis (TITAN) was used to discriminate between the macroinvertebrate community related to stagnant waters (Daule–Peripa reservoir) and to running waters. CCA indicates that the most important environmental factors influencing the distribution of macroinvertebrate communities were stream velocity, chlorophyll concentration, conductivity, temperature and elevation. Tipping points for the macroinvertebrate community were defined by stream velocity at 0.03 m/s and 0.4 m/s, i.e., stagnant-water (including dam-related reservoirs) taxa start to quickly decrease in abundance and frequency at 0.03 m/s while running-water taxa start to quickly increase in abundance and frequency at 0.03 m/s until a stream velocity of 0.4 m/s. The results provide essential information to define environmental flows to further support water management plans of the Guayas River basin. Information obtained will be useful for management of similar rivers in South America, as well as the rest of the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: macroinvertebrates; water quality; stream velocity; Guayas River basin; TITAN; hydropower dams macroinvertebrates; water quality; stream velocity; Guayas River basin; TITAN; hydropower dams
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Nguyen, T.H.T.; Forio, M.A.E.; Boets, P.; Lock, K.; Damanik Ambarita, M.N.; Suhareva, N.; Everaert, G.; Van der heyden, C.; Dominguez-Granda, L.E.; Hoang, T.H.T.; Goethals, P. Threshold Responses of Macroinvertebrate Communities to Stream Velocity in Relation to Hydropower Dam: A Case Study from The Guayas River Basin (Ecuador). Water 2018, 10, 1195.

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