, Volume 171, Issue 1, pp 59–78 | Cite as

Classification and ordination of macroinvertebrate assemblages to predict stream acidity in upland Wales

  • K. R. Wade
  • S. J. Ormerod
  • A. S. Gee


Macroinvertebrates were collected from riffles at 104 sites in upland Wales during April and July 1984. Species assemblages were ordinated by DECORANA, classified by TWINSPAN and related to stream chemistry and other environmental factors using correlation and multiple discriminant analysis. DECORANA axis 1 was most strongly correlated with pH and aluminium concentration whilst axis 2 correlated with stream gradient and flow. Four TWINSPAN site groups established in each season were also principally related to pH and aluminium concentration, and reflected overall taxon-richness; differences between groups were most apparent during spring, when catchment forest cover and taxon-richness were also related. A dichotomous key based on indicator species was established for each season with the coleopteran Hydraena gracilis Germar and the Ephemeroptera, including Baetis rhodani Pictet, important indicators at Level 1. We propose that these indicator systems may be used for the rapid detection and assessment of acid waters throughout Wales, and that the methodology is applicable generally.

Key words

acid streams macroinvertebrate indicator species ordination classification coniferous forest 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. R. Wade
    • 1
  • S. J. Ormerod
    • 2
  • A. S. Gee
    • 3
  1. 1.Welsh Water AuthoritySouth Eastern District LaboratoryMid GlamorganU.K.
  2. 2.UWIST, Department of Applied Biologyc/o South Western District LaboratoryDyfedU.K.
  3. 3.Welsh Water AuthoritySouth Western DivisionDyfedU.K.

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