We compared naturally alkaline streams with limestone lithology to freestone streams with and without acid mine drainage (AMD) to predict benthic macroinvertebrate community recovery from AMD in limestone-treated watersheds. Surrogate-recovered (limestone) and, in many cases, freestone systems had significantly higher macroinvertebrate densities; diversity; taxa richness; Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) taxa; EPT/chironomid ratios; scraper/collector - gatherer ratios; herbivores; collector - filterers; and scrapers. AMD-influenced systems had significantly greater numbers of Diptera and collector - gatherers. An entire trophic level (herbivores) was 'restored' in surrogate-recovered streams, which also showed greater trophic specialization. Indicator analysis identified seven taxa (within Crustacea, Diptera, Nematoda, Trichoptera, and Ephemeroptera) as significant indicators of limestone systems and six taxa (within Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Tricoptera, Coleoptera, and Mollusca) as significant freestone indicators, all useful as biological indicators of recovery from AMD. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007.
Additional publication details
Response of macroinvertebrate communities to remediation-simulating conditions in Pennsylvania streams influenced by acid mine drainage