Browsing by Author "Ollis, Dean Justin"
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- ItemRapid bioassessment of the ecological integrity of the Lourens, Palmiet and Hout Bay Rivers (South Western Cape, South Africa) using aquatic macroinvertebrates(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2005-12) Ollis, Dean Justin; Boucher, C.; Esler, Karen J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Agrisciences. Dept. of Conservation Ecology and Entomology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this study was to assess and compare the ecological integrity of the Lourens, Palmiet and Hout Bay Rivers (South Western Cape, South Africa) by examining the macroinvertebrate community structure at a series of representative sampling sites along the course of each river, using the South African Scoring System - Version 5 (SASS-5) rapid bioassessment method. Secondary aims included an examination of the effects of seasonal variability, biotope availability and site-specific environmental variables on the macroinvertebrate community structure at sampling sites, as well as the preliminary testing of the Integrated Habitat Assessment System (IHAS) for aquatic macroinvertebrates. According to results obtained, the ecological integrity of sampling sites in the Mountain Stream Zone of the three rivers was consistently good. The Hout Bay River in the upper portions of the Orange Kloof Reserve was particularly near-pristine, with this area having been identified in this study as a potential biodiversity ‘hot-spot’ for aquatic macroinvertebrates. Downstream of the Mountain Stream Zone, there was a significant deterioration in the ecological integrity of all three rivers due to a number of probable causes. Results based on recorded SASS Scores and Average Score per Taxon (ASPT) values, using ‘biological bands’ generated from reference sites in the South Western Cape, were generally similar to and supported by the corresponding multivariate analyses undertaken. From the results of the various analyses undertaken in this investigation and some of the problems encountered in interpreting the data, a number of recommendations are made regarding future bioassessment studies based on the SASS within the national River Health Programme (RHP). To test the IHAS, secondary data were obtained from reference sites in the Mpumalanga and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa. Assuming that SASS Scores at reference sites are the highest scores attainable, one would expect to find a positive relationship between SASS Scores and IHAS scores at reference sites. The assumption in this investigation was that this relationship should be linear. Non-parametric correlation analyses were undertaken between SASS-4/5 Scores and IHAS scores, using Kendall’s Rank-correlation Coefficient (τ), with separate analyses undertaken for different geomorphological zones and biotope groups. Correlations between SASS Scores and IHAS scores were generally weak (τ-values mostly < 0.3) and unsatisfactory, with no significant correlations (p < 0.05) for two-thirds of the data sets analysed and a wide degree of scatter generally observed amongst data points in respective scatter plots. The performance of the IHAS varied between geomorphological zones and biotope groups, with the Foothill: Gravel-bed Zone in Mpumalanga showing the best results, particularly when the stones-in-current biotope group was analysed separately. Further testing of the IHAS is required to confirm its relative performance in different bioregions/ecoregions, geomorphological zones and biotope groups, which should be undertaken as a priority research area within the RHP. Unsuccessful attempts to test the IHAS by means of multiple regression analyses were undertaken, suggesting that such techniques should be avoided in further testing of the IHAS.