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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Intensive Agriculture on Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assemblages and Water Quality in the Aconcagua River Basin (Central Chile)

1
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnológicas, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
2
Departamento de Sistemas Acuáticos, Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Concepción, y Centro de Ciencias Ambientales (EULA), Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion 4070386, Chile
3
Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción 4090541, Chile
4
Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad del Bío-Bío, Concepción 4051381, Chile
5
Centro FONDAP de Investigación en Dinámica de Ecosistemas Marinos de Altas Latitudes (IDEAL), Valdivia 5090000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira
Water 2021, 13(4), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040492
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 4 February 2021 / Accepted: 5 February 2021 / Published: 14 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Land-Use Changes on Surface Hydrology and Water Quality)
This study assessed natural variation in the macroinvertebrate assemblages (MIB) and water quality in one of the main basins with the largest agricultural activities in Chile (Aconcagua River Basin). We sampled throughout the annual cycle; nine sampling sites were established along the basin, classifying according to agricultural area coverage as least-disturbed, intermediate, and most-disturbed. We collected 56 macroinvertebrate taxa throughout the entire study area. Multivariate analysis shows significant differences among the three disturbance categories in different seasons, both water quality variables and the MIB structure. Distance-based linear model (DistLM) analysis for all seasons explained more than 95.9% of the macroinvertebrate assemblages, being significantly explained by chemical oxygen demand, pH, total coliforms, nitrites, elevation, and water temperature. ANOVA test revealed significant differences in the proportion of noninsect individuals, macroinvertebrates density, and the number of taxa among the three disturbance categories (p < 0.05). In general, water temperature, conductivity, chemical oxygen demand, ammonium, nitrites, and nitrates increased their values downstream in the basin. Our results indicate that the elevation gradient and increment in agricultural land use in the basin had a strong influence on water quality and MIB. A better understanding of these ecosystems could help conservation and integrated watershed management. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aconcagua; longitudinal pattern; biodiversity; bioindicators; MIB Aconcagua; longitudinal pattern; biodiversity; bioindicators; MIB
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fierro, P.; Valdovinos, C.; Lara, C.; Saldías, G.S. Influence of Intensive Agriculture on Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assemblages and Water Quality in the Aconcagua River Basin (Central Chile). Water 2021, 13, 492. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040492

AMA Style

Fierro P, Valdovinos C, Lara C, Saldías GS. Influence of Intensive Agriculture on Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assemblages and Water Quality in the Aconcagua River Basin (Central Chile). Water. 2021; 13(4):492. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040492

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fierro, Pablo; Valdovinos, Claudio; Lara, Carlos; Saldías, Gonzalo S. 2021. "Influence of Intensive Agriculture on Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assemblages and Water Quality in the Aconcagua River Basin (Central Chile)" Water 13, no. 4: 492. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040492

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