Assessment methodology for southern siliceous basins in Portugal
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- Pinto, P., Rosado, J., Morais, M. et al. Hydrobiologia (2004) 516: 191. doi:10.1023/B:HYDR.0000025266.86493.a2
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A sampling programme was developed in three stream types, of siliceous geology, from the south of Portugal (small and mid-sized lowland streams and small-sized median altitude streams). The samples were taken according to the AQEM site protocol procedure, keeping transport and depositional habitats samples separated. In each stream type, at least 13 sites were studied over a gradient of organic pollution (pre-classification). The benthic macroinvertebrates were identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level. A Detrended Correspondence Analysis of macroinvertebrate communities identified a gradient of organic pollution strongly related to the first axis. This ordination allowed the establishment of classes of organic pollution using the Kmeans software (post-classification). Metrics based on the macroinvertebrate communities (tolerance, richness, composition and trophic structure) were computed and tested for correlation with the gradient of organic pollution (first axis of DCA). Most of the selected metrics were able to discriminate the four quality classes (high, good, moderate and poor) of ecological status. A multimetric index, integrating ASPT′ index, Trichoptera families and percentage of Gasteropoda, Oligochaeta and Diptera, is proposed to assess the ecological status of Portuguese southern siliceous basins.