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Differing effects of catchment land use on water chemistry explain contrasting behaviour of a diatom index in tropical northern and temperate southern Australia | TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

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Differing effects of catchment land use on water chemistry explain contrasting behaviour of a diatom index in tropical northern and temperate southern Australia

TitleDiffering effects of catchment land use on water chemistry explain contrasting behaviour of a diatom index in tropical northern and temperate southern Australia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsChessman, B, Townsend, SA
JournalEcological Indicators
Volume10
Start Page620
Pagination620-626
Date Published05/10
ISSN1470-160X
Keywordsdiatom, DSIAR, river heath, water quality
Abstract

The DSIAR biotic index for freshwater diatoms, regarded as a potential indicator of impact from agricultural and urban land use on rivers in temperate south-eastern Australia, did not correlate significantly with an index of catchment condition in a tropical region of northern Australia. However, the relationships between the index and water chemistry, especially pH, salinity and concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, were consistent in both regions. The variable relationship between the index and catchment conditions can be explained by differing effects of catchment land use on stream-water chemistry in northern and southern Australia. In the south, land use has commonly resulted in increases in stream pH, salinity and nutrients, whereas in the north its impact on pH and salinity appears weak. These findings emphasise the need to interpret biological and ecological indices in the context of the varying causal pathways by which human activities affect stream ecosystems in different circumstances.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=PublicationURL&_tockey=%23TOC%236647%232010%23999899996%231674120%23FLA%23&_cdi=6647&_pubType=J&_auth=y&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=6d2991acc4ba2607d9881f5bb8ab51de
DOI10.1016/j.ecolind.2009.10.006