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Changes in the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of a large microtidal estuary following extreme modifications aimed at reducing eutrophication

Wildsmith, M.D., Rose, T.H., Potter, I.C., Warwick, R.M., Clarke, K.R. and Valesini, F.J. (2009) Changes in the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of a large microtidal estuary following extreme modifications aimed at reducing eutrophication. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58 (9). pp. 1250-1262.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.06.008
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Abstract

An artificial channel was opened in 1994 between the microtidal Peel-Harvey Estuary and the Indian Ocean to increase tidal exchange and thus ameliorate the problems of eutrophication. Although this greatly reduced macroalgal and cyanobacterial growths and the amount of particulate organic matter, our data indicate that, contrary to managerial expectations, the benthic environment has deteriorated. Thus, although macroinvertebrate density has declined as predicted, taxonomic distinctness (Δ*) has also declined and species composition has become more variable. Macroinvertebrate composition has also changed markedly at the species, family and even phylum levels. The Crustacea, the most sensitive of the major macrobenthic taxa to environmental stress, has become proportionally less abundant and speciose, whereas the Polychaeta, the least sensitive, was unique in showing the reverse trend. The benthos of the Peel-Harvey Estuary is thus apparently more stressed than previously, probably due to the multiple effects of a great increase in system use.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2009 Elsevier Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7348
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