INSTITUTO DE LIMNOLOGIA "DR. RAUL A. RINGUELET"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Effects of discharges from the textile industry on the biotic integrity of benthic assemblages
GOMEZ, N.; SIERRA, M. V.; CORTELEZZI, A.; RODRIGUES CAPÍTULO, A.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Abstract We explored the effects of a textile industry effluent on water quality, habitat quality and structural and functional responses of benthic communities in a lowland stream. Two sampling sites were selected: site 1 was located 300 m upstream of the outflow from the textile factory and site 2 was 500 m downstream from the discharge point. Samples of water, microbenthos, invertebrates and aquatic plants were taken seasonally. The effluent from the textile industry modified the structure of the microbenthic assemblages downstream, increased the density of organisms and the biomass of primary producers, but diminished the species richness. The oxygen consumption of the microbenthic community was 3x higher downstream of the effluent and abnormal frustules of diatoms were noticed. The richness and abundance of invertebrate taxa were lower at the impacted site. The invertebrate modes of existence and the functional feeding groups were also significantly affected. This study is an important baseline for assessment of lowland streams with high water residence time and a notable development of hydrophytes. It will also provide a baseline for the monitoring and restoration, or remediation, programs using the metrics of biotic integrity, particularly in South American countries where such metrics are rarely employed.