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Water Quality and Macroinvertebrate Community in Dryland Streams: The Case of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (México) Facing Climate Change

1
Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas. Prol. de Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n. Col. Sto. Tomás, Ciudad de México C.P. 11340, Mexico
2
Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Coordinación Politécnica para la Sustentabilidad. Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional s/n, Esq. Wilfrido Massieu, Col. San Pedro Zacatenco, Deleg. Gustavo A. Madero, Ciudad de México C.P. 07738, Mexico
3
Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Unidad Oaxaca. Departamento de Investigación. Hornos No. 1003, Col. Noche Buena, Municipio de Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, C.P. 71230 Oaxaca, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071376
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract

The Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (TCBR), the southernmost semi-arid zone of North America, includes two dryland streams, the Río Salado (RS) and Río Grande (RG); it is surrounded by high vegetation diversity, a cacti diversification center, and the densest columnar cacti forest worldwide. However, no scientific knowledge is currently available on these dryland streams. We evaluated water quality, its relationship with the local geological characteristics, land uses, and the composition of aquatic macroinvertebrates (AM), analyzing their bioindicator potential. These results were discussed in relation to climate change predictions. The RS showed higher mineralization, salinity, hardness, water and air temperature, and low water quality index (WQI), relative to the RG. A discriminant analysis showed spatial (mineralization, salinity, and hardness in the RS) and temporal patterns (higher nitrogen compounds and temperature in the rainy season). The RS showed a lower AM diversity (40 taxa) compared to the RG (73 taxa); Ephemeroptera-Plecoptera-Trichoptera reached higher values in the RG. A co-inertia analysis identified five groups of sites with different AM assemblages and water quality characteristics. Climate change predictions for the TCBR suggest increased aridity, higher temperature, and lower rainfall, leading to reduced river flow and increased salinity and mineralization. These could alter habitat features and connectivity, with loss of AM diversity, highlighting the vulnerability of these unique ecosystems to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: freshwater salinization; climate change; bioindicators; land use; saline rivers; natural protected area freshwater salinization; climate change; bioindicators; land use; saline rivers; natural protected area
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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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López-López, E.; Sedeño-Díaz, J.E.; Mendoza-Martínez, E.; Gómez-Ruiz, A.; Martínez Ramírez, E. Water Quality and Macroinvertebrate Community in Dryland Streams: The Case of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (México) Facing Climate Change. Water 2019, 11, 1376.

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