In one river, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn were analysed in insects and in fine bed sediments over a 381-km reach downstream of a large copper mining complex. In another river, As contamination from a gold mine was assessed in insects and bed sediments over a 40-km reach. All insect taxa collected in contaminated river reaches had elevated whole-body trace element concentrations, but few species were distributed throughout the study reaches. Comparisons of contamination at taxomic levels higher than species were complicated by element-specific differences in bioaccumulation among taxa. These differences appeared to be governed by biological and hydrogeochemical factors. Variation in element concentrations among species of the caddisfly Hydropsyche was slightly greater than within individual species. If this genus is representative of others, comparisons of contamination within genera may be a practical alternative for biomonitoring studies when single species are not available.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Aquatic insects as bioindicators of trace element contamination in cobble-bottom rivers and streams|
|Series title||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publisher||Canadian Science Publishing|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|