CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Instructions to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>        Online Early    

Effect of key water quality variables on macroinvertebrate and fish communities within naturally acidic wallum streams

Aleicia Holland A C , Leo J. Duivenvoorden A and Susan H. W. Kinnear B

A School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qld 4702, Australia.
B Division of Industry, Vocational Training and Access Education, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qld 4702, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: a.holland@cqu.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13285
Submitted: 28 October 2013  Accepted: 17 April 2014   Published online: 24 October 2014


 
PDF (639 KB) $25
 Supplementary Material
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

Adverse impacts of acidification on aquatic biota have been observed worldwide; however, most reports are based on fresh waters acidified by anthropogenic means. By contrast, naturally low pH values may not affect biota within naturally acidic fresh waters. This field study provides information on the water quality, macroinvertebrate and fish communities in little-studied, naturally acidic wallum streams in Central Queensland, Australia. Mid-range pH sites (pH 5–6) were compared with low pH sites (pH 5–3.8) to investigate the effect of pH and other key water quality variables on these communities. Field data indicated that pH had less of an effect in these systems in terms of biotic changes compared with other water quality variables, with dissolved oxygen (% saturation) identified as the key driver for changes in macroinvertebrate composition. Fish were present at all sites, including those with pH <4. Several possible explanations for this lack of pH effect are discussed. These results provide support for the reduced importance of acidity, relative to other water quality parameters, in naturally acidic waters. The work also provides baseline data on the biota of little-studied wallum streams.

Additional keywords: acid, blackwater, freshwater biota, humic.


References

Adalberto, L. V., Gonzalez, R. J., Wood, C. M., Wilson, R. W., Patrick, M. L., Bergman, H. L., and Narahara, A. (1998). Effects of water pH and calcium concentration on ion balance in fish of the Rio Negro, Amazon. Physiological Zoology 71, 15–22.
CrossRef |

Allen, G. R., Midgley, S. H., and Allen, M. (2002). ‘Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia.’ (Western Australian Museum: Perth.)

APHA (1998). ‘Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater.’ 20th Edn. (APHA: Washington.)

Arthington, A. H., Burtin, H. B., Williams, R. W., and Outridge, P. M. (1986). Ecology of humic and non-humic dune lakes, Fraser Island, with emphasis on the effects of sand infilling in Lake Wabby. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37, 743–764.
CrossRef | CAS |

AusRivAS (2001). ‘Australian-wide Assessment of River Health: Queensland AusRivAS Sampling and Processing Manual.’ (Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Environment Australia: Canberra.)

Bayly, I. A. E., Edsworth, E. P., and Wan, H. F. (1975). Studies on the lakes of Fraser Island, Queensland. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 26, 1–13.
CrossRef |

Chessman, B. (2003). ‘SIGNAL 2.iv, A Scoring System for Macroinvertebrates (‘Water Bugs’) in Australian Rivers.’ Monitoring River Health Initiative Technical Report no. 31, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Clarke, K. R., and Gorley, R. N. (2006). ‘PRIMER v6: User Manual/Tutorial.’ (PRIMER-E, Plymouth)

Collier, K. J., Ball, O. J., Graesser, A. K., Main, M. R., and Winterbourn, M. J. (1990). Do organic and anthropogenic acidity have similar effects on aquatic fauna? Oikos 59, 33–38.
CrossRef |

Connolly, N. M., Crossland, M. R., and Pearson, R. G. (2004). Effect of low dissolved oxygen on survival, emergence, and drift of tropical stream macroinvertebrates. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23, 251–270.
CrossRef |

Cranston, P. S., and Edward, D. H. D. (1992). A systematic reappraisal of the Australian Aphroteniinae (Diptera: Chironomidae) with dating from vicariance biogeography. Systematic Entomology 17, 41–54.
CrossRef |

Dangles, O., Malmqvist, B., and Laudon, H. (2004). Naturally acid freshwater ecosystems are diverse and functional: Evidence from boreal streams. Oikos 104, 149–155.
CrossRef |

Dean, J. C., Clair, R. M. S., and Cartwright, D. I. (2004). ‘Identification keys to Australian Families and Genera of Caddis-Fly Larvae (Trichoptera).’ (Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology: Thurgoona, NSW, Australia).

DiDonato, G., Summers, J. K., and Roush, T. (2003). Assessing the Ecological Condition of a Coastal Plain Watershed Using a Probabilistic Survey Design. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 85, 1–21.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

DPI (2005). Oxleyan pygmy perch recovery plan. Nelson Bay, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries Management Branch.

Duivenvoorden, L. J., Hamilton, D., Price, M., and Attard, T. (1999). Temporal Variation of macroinvertebrate Communities of Impounded and Riverine Sites in Central Queensland. In ‘River Health in the Fitzroy Catchment’, Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Rockhampton.

Duivenvoorden, L. J., Price, M. D., Noble, R. N., and Carroll, C. (2003). Assessment of ecological risk associated with irrigation in the Fitzroy Basin: Phase 2 – Analysis and characterisation of risk with emphasis on effects on macroinvertebrates. Project No UCQ3: Final Report to Land and Water Australia, Australia.

Duivenvoorden, L. J., Houston, W., Kinnear, S., Black, R., Goedee, A., Stitz, L., Rosin, C., Black, L., and Lowry, R. (2008). Ecological considerations of spray control for Hymenachne. In ‘Ecological, economic and social considerations of spray control for Hymenachne’. Full technical report prepared for Land and Water Australia, Australia.

Gonzalez, R. J., and Preest, M. (1999). Mechanisms for exceptional tolerance of ion-poor, acidic waters in the neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 72, 156–163.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Gonzalez, R. J., Wilson, R. W., Wood, C. M., Patrick, M. L., and Val, A. L. (2002). Diverse strategies for ion regulation in fish collected from the ion-poor, acidic Rio Negro. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 75, 37–47.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Gooderham, J., and Tsyrlin, E. (2005). ‘The Waterbug Book.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Greig, H. S., Niyogi, D. K., Hogsden, K. L., Jellyman, P. G., and Harding, J. S. (2010). Heavy metals: Confounding factors in the response of New Zealand freshwater fish assemblages to natural and anthropogenic acidity. The Science of the Total Environment 408, 3240–3250.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Havas, M., and Rosseland, B. (1995). Response of zooplankton, benthos, and fish to acidification: An overview. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 85, 51–62.
CrossRef | CAS |

Hawking, J., and Theischinger, G. (1999). ‘Dragonfly larvae (Odonata): A guide to the identification of larvae of Australian families abd identification and ecology of larvae from New South Wales.’ (Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Thurgonga, NSW, Australia)

Hawkins, P. R., Taplin, L. E., Duivenvoorden, L. J., and Scott, F. (1988). Limnology of oligotrophic dune lakes at Cape Flattery. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 39, 535–553.
CrossRef | CAS |

Holland, A., Duivenvoorden, L. J., and Kinnear, S. H. W. (2012). Naturally acidic waterways: conceptual food webs for better management and understanding of ecological functioning. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 22, 836–847.
CrossRef |

Holland, A., Duivenvoorden, L. J., and Kinnear, S. H. W. (2013a). The double edged sword of humic substances: contrasting their effect on respiratory stress in eastern rainbow fish exposed to low pH. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International , .
CrossRef | PubMed |

Holland, A., Duivenvoorden, L. J., and Kinnear, S. H. W. (2013b). Humic substances increase the survivorship rates of freshwater shrimp exposed to acidified waters of varying hardness. Annals of Environmental Science 7, 49–58.
| CAS |

Houston, W. A., and Duivenvoorden, L. J. (2002). Replacement of littoral native vegetation with the ponded pasture grass Hymenachne amplexicaulis: effects on plant, macroinvertebrate and fish biodiversity of backwaters in the Fitzroy River, Central Queensland, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 53, 1235–1244.
CrossRef |

Kaller, M. D., and Kelso, W. E. (2007). Association of macroinvertebrate assemblages with dissolved oxygen concentration and wood surface area in selected subtropical streams of the southeastern USA. Aquatic Ecology 41, 95–110.
CrossRef | CAS |

Knight, J. T., and Arthington, A. H. (2008). Distribution and habitat associations of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch, Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley, in eastern Australia. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18, 1240–1254.
CrossRef |

Knight, J. T., Arthington, A. H., Holder, G. S., and Talbot, R. B. (2012). Conservation biology and management of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana in Australia. Endangered Species Research 17, 169–178.
CrossRef |

Kullberg, A. (1992). Benthic macroinvertebrate community structure in 20 streams of varying pH and humic content. Environmental Pollution 78, 103–106.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Kullberg, A., Bishop, K., Hargeby, A., Jansson, M., and Petersen, R. (1993). The ecological significance of dissolved organic carbon in acidified waters. Ambio 22, 331–337.

McFarland, B., Carse, F., and Sandin, L. (2010). Littoral macroinvertebrates as indicators of lake acidification within the UK. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20, S105–S116.

Meyer, E., Hero, J. M., Shoo, L., and Lewis, B. (2006). National recovery plan for the wallum sedgefrog and other wallum-dependent frog species. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.

Moe, S. J., Schartau, A. K., BÆKken, T., and McFarland, B. (2010). Assessing macroinvertebrate metrics for classifying acidified rivers across northern Europe. Freshwater Biology 55, 1382–1404.
CrossRef | CAS |

Otto, C., and Svensson, B. S. (1983). Properties of acid brown water streams in South Sweden. Archiv fuer Hydrobiologie 99, 15–36.
| CAS |

Petrin, Z., Englund, G., and Malmqvist, B. (2008a). Contrasting effects of anthropogenic and natural acidity in streams a meta-analysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Science 275, 1143–1148.

Petrin, Z., Laudon, H., and Malmqvist, B. (2008b). Diverging effects of anthropogenic acidification and natural acidity on community structure in Swedish streams. The Science of the Total Environment 394, 321–330.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Ponder, W. (2001). An Introduction to the Taxonomy of Australian Freshwater Gastropods. Taxonomy Workshop Notes No. 2. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Albury, NSW, Australia.

Posa, M. R. C., Wijedasa, L. S., and Corlett, R. T. (2011). Biodiversity and conservation of tropical peat swamp forests. Bioscience 61, 49–57.
CrossRef |

Pusey, B., Kennard, M., and Arthington, A. (2004). ‘Freshwater Fishes of North-Eastern Australia.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Renwick, J. (2006). Population structure and genetic diversity of southeast Queensland populations of the wallum froglet, Crinia tinnula. PhD Thesis, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

Steinberg, C. E. W., Saul, N., Pietsch, K., Meinelt, T., Rienau, S., and Menzel, R. (2007). Dissolved humic substance facilitate fish life in extreme aquatic environments and have the potential to extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Annals of Environmental Science 1, 81–90.
| CAS |

Thurman, E. M. (1986). ‘Organic Geochemistry of Natural Waters.’ (Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht)

Timms, B. V. (1982). Coastal dune waterbodies of north-eastern New South Wales (Newcastle, Tweed Heads). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33, 203–222.
CrossRef | CAS |

Vangenechten, J. H. D. (1983). Acidification in west-European lakes and physiological adaptation to acid stress in natural inhabitants of acid lakes. Water Quality Bulletin 8, 150–155.
| CAS |

Walsh, C. J. (1997). A multivariate method for determining optimal subsample size in the analysis of macroinvertebrate samples. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 48, 241–248.
CrossRef |

Wetzel, R. (2001). ‘ Limnology, Lake and River Ecosystems.’ (Academic Press, San Diego, CA.)

Williams, W. D. (1980). ‘Australian Freshwater Life.’ (Macmillan Education Australia: Melbourne.)

Winterbourn, M. J., and Collier, K. J. (1987). Distribution of benthic invertebrates in acid, brown water streams in the South Island of New Zealand. Hydrobiologia 153, 277–286.
CrossRef |

Wood, C. M., Matsuo, A. Y. O., Gonzalez, R. J., Wilson, R. W., Patrick, M. L., and Val, A. L. (2002). Mechanisms of ion transport in Potamotrygon, a stenohaline freshwater elasmobranch native to the ion-poor blackwaters of the Rio Negro. The Journal of Experimental Biology 205, 3039–3054.
| CAS | PubMed |


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014