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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
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Young-Seuk Park
Water 2015, 7(8), 4511-4522; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7084511
Received: 25 June 2015 / Accepted: 5 August 2015 / Published: 17 August 2015
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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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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