Comparative Analysis of Multi-Taxa Communities in Streams in Integrative Ecological Assessment
Tae-Soo Chon, Hyun Ju Hwang, Xiaodong Qu, Hongqu Tang1, Woon-Seok Cho, Mi-Young Song, Jung-Hye Choi, Seung-Cheol Koh, Hak-Young Lee, Young-Ryun Chung
Last modified: 2008-09-13
Three groups in benthic communities, algae, macroinvertebrates and microorganisms, were collected concurrently at the same sites across different levels of pollution in urbanized streams in Korea. Environmental factors covering organic and heavy-metal pollution were also measured along with community sampling. Community responses to disturbances were elucidated according to different impact of pollution in different taxa. Community parameters such as diversity indices and species richness were compared to reveal overall states pertaining to the sample sites, while patterns of species distribution were checked to characterize community organization in determining the species-abundance relationships. Macroinvertebrates showed the gradient in water quality in a relatively stable fashion compared with algae and microorganisms, while communities of algae and microorganisms tended to reveal local and seasonal variations. The scopes of algae and microorganisms, however, were wider in showing water quality. The tolerant species of algae and microorganisms were selectively present at the severely polluted sites. The impact of pollution was accordingly reflected on species abundance patterns in the sampled communities. The slopes of the rank-abundance relationships presented ecological states of the sample sites. Feasibility of analyzing multi-taxa communities was further discussed in revealing ecological water quality in integrative risk assessment.