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The effects of artificial oxygenation on the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of the Swan-Canning Estuary

Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S. and Hoeksema, S.D. (2011) The effects of artificial oxygenation on the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of the Swan-Canning Estuary. In: Swan River Trust Forum, 2 November, Perth, Western Australia.

Abstract

Benthic macroinvertebrates are a crucial component of estuarine ecosystems as they play an important role in nutrient cycling and also provide a food source for fish and birds. The limited mobility of these species and their predictable responses to natural and anthropogenic stressors has led to their extensive use in biotic indices of estuarine health and in other studies aimed at assessing the levels of degradation. Anoxic events have been known to occur periodically within the Swan-Canning Estuary and, as a result, the Department of Water in partnership with the Swan River Trust built an oxygenation plant at Guildford in 2008 to artificially oxygenate the water column in this area and thus prevent low oxygen events. While the supersaturation of the water column has resulted in increased oxygen uptake by the sediment, when the plant is running, the effects of the artificial oxygenation on the composition of the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna remained unquantified. This study will present one year of seasonal data on the composition of the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna at five locations along the Upper Swan, including sites in the direct vicinity of the Guildford oxygen plant, to determine whether the artificial oxygenation has had any positive effect on benthic macroinvertebrate diversity and community composition.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/15179
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