Monitoring the health of large rivers with macroinvertebrates: do dominant taxa help or hinder the assessment?

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Jackson, J.K., J.M. Battle, and B.W. Sweeney. 2009. River Research and Applications 26(8):931–947.

doi: 10.1002/rra.1318


Macroinvertebrate communities in the Mississippi River are often dominated by a few taxa (e.g. oligochaetes in the fine sediments and hydropsychid caddisflies on rocks) that exploit the natural abundance of fine organic particles. These taxa are moderately to highly tolerant of pollution, and the combination of high abundance and high pollution tolerance could result in the river being assessed as highly polluted. We examined how the presence or absence of dominant oligochaetes or hydropsychid caddisflies affected biometric values and responses used to monitor environmental stress in large rivers. Read more