Benthic diatom assemblages in mountain streams: community structure in relation to environmental and human pressures

Bere, Taurai and Phiri, Crispen and Kadye, Wilbert T. and Utete, Beavan (2013) Benthic diatom assemblages in mountain streams: community structure in relation to environmental and human pressures. pp. 625-634. ISSN 01416707

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aje.12078

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the environmental factors that best explain the distribution and community composition of benthic diatoms in undisturbed mountain streams in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. Benthic diatoms were sampled during the dry season from 21 sampling sites established along altitudinal gradient of the study rivers. A total of 119 diatom species belonging to 38 genera and twelve families were recorded for all the 21 sites sampled. No significant differences were observed in species diversity and equitability amongst the three river systems. However, species richness, diversity and equitability decreased significantly along the longitudinal gradient of the rivers, with the highest richness, diversity and evenness being recorded in the upper reaches. Temperature, velocity, NO3� and Ca2+ levels were strongly associated with changes in diatom communities in the three rivers. Inventory of diatom communities has applications in many fields of biological research including conservation and biological monitoring of ecosystem changes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > Chinhoyi University of Technology
Depositing User: Prof Taurai Bere
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2015 12:31
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2015 12:31
URI: http://researchdatabase.ac.zw/id/eprint/570

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