, Volume 589, Issue 1, pp 107–116 | Cite as

Initial development of a multi-metric index based on aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess streams condition in the Upper Isiboro-Sécure Basin, Bolivian Amazon

  • Nabor MoyaEmail author
  • Sylvie Tomanova
  • Thierry Oberdorff
Primary Research Paper


We developed a preliminary macroinvertebrate-based multi-metric index to assess streams biotic condition in the Upper Isiboro-Sécure basin (Bolivia). To do so we used eight local habitat descriptors and twelve metrics describing the structure and function of macroinvertebrate assemblages from 38 reference and 29 disturbed sites. Stepwise multiple linear regression procedures were first applied using the reference data to elaborate models describing metrics response to natural environmental in the absence of any significant disturbance. In a second step we used residuals distribution of each of the twelve models to select the most effective metrics in discriminating between reference and disturbed sites. These metrics were: number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera taxa (EPT), abundance of EPT, relative abundance of EPT, abundance of Chironomidae and relative abundance of Chironomidae. Finally, after converting residual values of these 5 remaining metrics into probabilities, we added values to obtain a final index score and interpreted this score as excellent, good, moderate, poor or very poor. Our final multi-metric index distinguished well between natural and human-induced variation in biological condition and showed a significant negative response to a gradient of disturbances. This type of approach could be used in the near future to develop a nation wide index by increasing regional-scale monitoring.


Bioassessment Benthic invertebrates Neotropical streams Anthropogenic disturbance 



This work was supported by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (UR-IRD 131), the Unidad de Limnología y Recursos Acuáticos (ULRA/UMSS) and the Laboratory of Running Waters Biology of Masaryk University (MSM 002162241). We are grateful to Rémy Bigorne, José Zubieta, Jimena Camacho, Ariel Céspedes, Marc Pouilly, Pablo Tedesco and Carla Ibáñez for field assistance and to Mabel Maldonado and Edgar Goitia for useful comments on the manuscript.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabor Moya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sylvie Tomanova
    • 2
  • Thierry Oberdorff
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Unidad de Limnología y Recursos AcuáticosUniversidad Mayor de San SimónCochabambaBolivia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Running Waters Biology, Department of Botany and ZoologyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR 131, DMPA-USM 403, Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance

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