University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Selected Publication:

Calapez, AR; Branco, P; Santos, JM; Ferreira, T; Hein, T; Brito, AG; Feio, MJ.
(2017): Macroinvertebrate short-term responses to flow variation and oxygen depletion: A mesocosm approach
SCI TOTAL ENVIRON. 2017; 599: 1202-1212. FullText FullText_BOKU

In Mediterranean rivers, water scarcity is a key stressor with direct and indirect effects on other stressors, such as water quality decline and inherent oxygen depletion associated with pollutants inputs. Yet, predicting the responses of macroinvertebrates to these stressors combination is quite challenging due to the reduced available information, especially if biotic and abiotic seasonal variations are taken under consideration. This study focused on the response of macroinvertebrates by drift to single and combined effects of water scarcity and dissolved oxygen (DO) depletion over two seasons (winter and spring). A factorial design of two flow velocity levels - regular and low (vL) - with three levels of oxygen depletion - normoxia, medium depletion (dM) and higher depletion (dH) - was carried out in a 5-artificial channels system, in short-term experiments. Results showed that both stressors individually and together had a significant effect on macroinvertebrate drift ratio for both seasons. Single stressor effects showed that macroinvertebrate drift decreased with flow velocity reduction and increased with DO depletion, in both winter and spring experiments. Despite single stressors opposing effects in drift ratio, combined stressors interaction (vL x dM and vL x dH) induced a positive synergistic drift effect for both seasons, but only in winter the drift ratio was different between the levels of DO depletion. Stressors interaction in winter seemed to intensify drift response when reached lower oxygen saturation. Also, drift patterns were different between seasons for all treatments, which may depend on individualxxxs life stage and seasonal behaviour. Water scarcity seems to exacerbate the oxygen depletion conditions resulting into a greater drifting of invertebrates. The potential effects of oxygen depletion should be evaluated when addressing the impacts of water scarcity on river ecosystems, since flow reductions will likely contribute to a higher oxygen deficit, particularly in Mediterranean rivers. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Hein Thomas

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Water scarcity
Synergistic effects
Mediterranean streams

© BOKU Wien Imprint