1 results for Ancion, P

  • A comparison of bacterial, ciliate and macroinvertebrate indicators of stream ecological health

    Lear, Gavin; Dopheide, A; Ancion, P; Lewis, Gillian (2011)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    We evaluate the reliability of communities of bacteria and ciliated protozoa as indicators of freshwater ecological health. Samples of epilithic biofilm were taken from 18 freshwater streams, impacted by varying types and degrees of catchment modification. Communities of bacteria and ciliates were characterised using DNA fingerprinting techniques (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, respectively) and macroinvertebrate data also obtained, for comparison. Similar to the macroinvertebrates, the taxa richness of ciliate communities was reduced in more developed stream catchments; significant differences in the evenness of ciliate communities were also detected. We could identify no significant relationship between the richness of bacterial taxa and the percentage catchment development. However, a significant trend was detected between bacterial community structure and the predominant catchment land use (rural vs. urban) using a Bray–Curtis measure of similarity, a relationship not detected for the ciliate and macroinvertebrate communities. These findings indicate that stream bacterial, ciliate and macroinvertebrate communities each respond differently to various catchment conditions and highlight the potential of microbial communities to provide novel, alternative indicators of stream ecosystem health.

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