, Volume 150, Issue 1, pp 63–74 | Cite as

Macrozoobenthos of three Pennsylvania lakes: responses to acidification

  • P. T. Bradt
  • M. B. Berg


The littoral macrozoobenthos (MZB) of three northeastern Pennsylvania lakes was sampled seasonally from summer 1981 until summer 1983, to determine if any changes were occurring in response to acid deposition. In the acidified lake (total alkalinity ≤ 0.0 μeq L−1) the mean pH decreased from 5.5 in 1981 to 4.2 in 1983. Chironomidae comprised 71.30% of the MZB numbers and 19.6% of the wet weight. Over the study period the wet weight of Chironomidae increased (p < 0.04) as did the total numbers of Chironomidae in general (p < 0.01) and Tanytarsini (p < 0.01) in particular. Total numbers of MZB also increased (p < 0.02) in the acidified lake, but there was no significant change in the number of taxa, diversity or total wet weight. In the moderately sensitive lake (total alkalinity 47.4 μeq L−1, mean pH 6.1) Chironomidae were numerically (43%) dominant but Odonata (18.6%) and Mollusca (12.7%) dominated wet weight. There were no significant changes in the MZB of the moderately sensitive lake over the study period. In the least sensitive lake (total alkalinity 190 μeq L−1, mean pH 6.6) the Amphipoda (31.3%) and Chironomidae (27.3%) together provided 58.6% of the MZB numbers, and the Mollusca formed 55.1% of wet weight. Wet weight at the least sensitive lake was higher (p < 0.01) and there were more Ephemeroptera, Pelecypoda and Gastropoda than at the other two lakes. There were no differences in total numbers, diversity or number of taxa among the three lakes.


macrozoobenthos acidification Chironomidae Tanypodinae Tanytarsini Mollusca 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. T. Bradt
    • 1
  • M. B. Berg
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, Chandler — Ullmann #17Lehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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