Morphological plasticity of Nemoura Cinerea (Arthropoda, Nemouridae) as a biological indicator for aquatic systems
Macrobenthos are indicators of the physical and chemical changes in aquatic ecosystems. In this research, the diversity of macrobenthos communities in the Ortkand River, Iran, was investigated during four consecutive seasons using the Shannon-Weiner, EPT richness indices, and the Hilsenhoff index for water quality at four sampling stations. In addition, sampling of Nemoura cinerea (Arthropoda, Nemouridae) was done to compare morphological differences between specimens from two upstream and downstream sites using a geometric morphometric approach. The physicochemical parameters of water were also recorded. The entry of fish farm wastewater significantly affects biotic and abiotic environmental factors according to the Shannon-Weiner and Hilsenhoff indices. The results showed a significant positive correlation between DO and Shannon-Wiener index, TDS and the Hilsenhoff index, and DO and EPT richness index. A significant negative correlation was observed between BOD and the Shannon-Wiener index, DO and Hilsenhoff index, and between BOD and EPT richness index. Geometric morphometrics analyses revealed that the two groups differed mainly in pronotum and metanotum morphology. According to the results, monitoring of macrobenthos can help assess rivers’ water quality, and N. cinerea can be a proper bioindicator.
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