Biological Assessment of Impact

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 275-295

First online:

The effects of sewage on alpine streams in Kosciusko National Park, NSW

  • J. C. ChapmanAffiliated withState Pollution Control Commission
  • , B. L. SimmonsAffiliated withState Pollution Control Commission

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The impact of resort developments in three alpine streams of Kosciusko National Park was examined by the State Pollution Control Commission of NSW over 1981 and 1982. Physico-chemical measurements such as nutrient concentrations, stream flow and temperature were correlated with measures of periphyton growth using artificial substrates and the Thomas (1978) method for estimation of in-stream biomass.

Stream flow was the major physical parameter controlling in-stream periphyton growth, far outweighing seasonal temperature variations. Nutrients emanating from resort developments were also a major influence on biomass and taxa. Natural accumulations occurred upstream of resort developments under low flow conditions and were associated with taxa typical of clean water conditions. The relationships between periphyton biomass and nutrient loads could be quantified.