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Benthic Macroinvertebrates of the Kızılırmak River (Nevşehir, Turkey) and Their Relation with Environmental Variables

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Turkey has many ecological characteristics due to its geographical location, allowing it to have a rich biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems. This study was carried out on the Kızılırmak river, the longest river (1.355 km) in the country; it originates and empties into the sea within its borders. The Kızılırmak river serves various agricultural, industrial, drinking water-related, and recreational purposes and greatly contributes to the region’s economy. This study aimed to determine the distribution of the river’s macroinvertebrate fauna and evaluate the impact of environmental variables on species distribution. In addition, using species-based biodiversity indices such as the Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP), Average Score per Taxon (ASPT), the Shannon–Wiener index, and evenness analysis, spatial and temporal similarities and differences were determined. According to the results, the ten taxonomic groups in the Kızılırmak river belong to the following categories: Gastropoda (81.5%), Gammaridae (9.8%), Oligochaeta (6.2%) Chironomidae (2.1%), Hirudinea (0.3%), and various others (0.1%). The Shannon–Wiener and evenness indexes were 0.29–1.9 and 0.46–0.14, respectively. TR-BMWP scores are in the poor to very poor water quality classes, and the ASPT ranges from moderate to poor water quality. Correlation analysis between species and physicochemical parameters indicated that the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna diversity of the river is affected by natural and anthropogenic factors.

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The authors wish to thank to Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Scientific Research Project Fund for their financial support (Project no.: NEUBAP13F22).

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Correspondence to Seval Aras.

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Abbreviation: ASPT—the Average Score Per Taxon; BMWP— Biological Monitoring Working Party; BOD—Biochemical Oxygen Demand; DO—Dissolved Oxygen; St—station; WPCR—Water Pollution Control Program Regulations.

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Aras, S., Findik, O. Benthic Macroinvertebrates of the Kızılırmak River (Nevşehir, Turkey) and Their Relation with Environmental Variables. Inland Water Biol 16, 690–699 (2023).

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