The effects of water abstractions on invertebrate communities in U.K. streams

Castella, Emmanuel, Armitage, Patrick D., Bickerton, Melanie A. and Petts, Geoffrey E. (1995) The effects of water abstractions on invertebrate communities in U.K. streams. Hydrobiologia, 308 (3). pp. 167-182. ISSN 0018-8158

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There are increasing concerns about the ecological effects of water abstraction and in the UK, these concerns have been hightened by the 1976, 1984 and 1988-92 droughts. This paper assesses macroinvertebrate and environmental changes induced by surface and groundwater abstractions on 22 streams throughout the UK. The approach involved comparative research to assess differences between reference and impacted sites. Using a database comprising 204 sets of biological and environmental data (89 taxa and 16 environmental variables) a preliminary ordination using principle components analysis clearly differentiated three types of sites: upland, lowland and an intermediate type. At this scale, any effects of abstractions on invertebrate communities are shown to be insignificant relative to regional controls. A simultaneous ordination of the environmental and faunal differences between pairs of sites was undertaken separately for each of the three regional groups. Differences are considered as vectors having both direction and amplitude and the analysis elucidates common patterns in the faunal and environmental data. Important changes were observed in two situations: upland streams affected by major diversions as part of hydro-power schemes in Scotland and lowland rivers impacted by groundwater abstractions. No strong patterns of change (either in amplitude or orientation) were demonstrated within any of the taxonomic groups. However, within the upland type some rheophilous taxa were shown typically to be reduced in abundance at impacted sites. Within the lowland type, a consistent pattern in the dataset is demonstrated by a group of taxa that are reduced in abundance at the impacted sites.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Science and Technology > Life Sciences, School of (No longer in use)
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2011 10:43
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2011 10:43

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