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Article

Variations in Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities and Biological Quality in the Aguarico and Coca River Basins in the Ecuadorian Amazon

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Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, Block F, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Natural Resources Career, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Universidad Técnica del Norte, Avenida 17 de julio 5-21 y Gral, José María Córdova, Ibarra EC100150, Ecuador
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Health and Water Technology Research Centre, Hogeschool Gent/University of Applied Science and Arts, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Environmental Engineering Career, Faculty of Engineering and Agrarian Sciences, Universidad de Las Américas, J. Queri, Quito 59302, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria João Feio and Joao M. Neto
Water 2021, 13(12), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121692
Received: 18 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 June 2021 / Published: 18 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ecological Assessment of Rivers and Estuaries: Present and Future)
Adequate environmental management in tropical aquatic ecosystems is imperative. Given the lack of knowledge about functional diversity and bioassessment programs, management is missing the needed evidence on pollution and its effect on biodiversity and functional ecology. Therefore, we investigated the composition and distribution of the macroinvertebrate community along two rivers. Specifically, 15 locations were sampled in the Coca and Aguarico Rivers (Ecuadorian Amazon) and the macroinvertebrates were used to indicate water quality (WQ), expressed as the Biological Monitoring Working Party Colombia (BMWP-Col) classes. Results indicate that elevation, pH, temperature, width, and water depth played an important role in the taxa and functional feeding groups (FFG) composition. The results show that diversity of taxa and FFG were generally scarce but were more abundant in good quality sites. Collector-gathers (CG) were, in general, dominant and were particularly abundant at low WQ and downstream sites. Scrapers (SC) were the second most abundant group, dominating mostly at good WQ and upstream sites. Predators (PR) were homogeneously distributed among the sites, without clear dominance, and their abundance was slightly higher in sites with medium-low WQ and downstream sites. Lastly, both shredders (SH) and collector-filterers (CF) were almost absent and were more abundant in good quality sites. The findings of this research can be used as baseline information in the studied region since a dam was constructed two years after the sampling campaign, which has been operating since. Furthermore, the results can be used to fill the knowledge gaps related to the bioassessments of other similar systems, particularly for a tropical rainforest. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional feeding groups; limnology; water quality; Amazonia functional feeding groups; limnology; water quality; Amazonia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cabrera, S.; Eurie Forio, M.A.; Lock, K.; Vandenbroucke, M.; Oña, T.; Gualoto, M.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Van der heyden, C. Variations in Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities and Biological Quality in the Aguarico and Coca River Basins in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Water 2021, 13, 1692. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121692

AMA Style

Cabrera S, Eurie Forio MA, Lock K, Vandenbroucke M, Oña T, Gualoto M, Goethals PLM, Van der heyden C. Variations in Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities and Biological Quality in the Aguarico and Coca River Basins in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Water. 2021; 13(12):1692. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121692

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cabrera, Santiago, Marie A. Eurie Forio, Koen Lock, Marte Vandenbroucke, Tania Oña, Miguel Gualoto, Peter L.M. Goethals, and Christine Van der heyden. 2021. "Variations in Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities and Biological Quality in the Aguarico and Coca River Basins in the Ecuadorian Amazon" Water 13, no. 12: 1692. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121692

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