Portions of the Boulder River watershed contain elevated concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in water, sediment, and biota. We measured concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in biofilm and macroinvertebrates, and assessed macroinvertebrate assemblage and aquatic habitat with the objective of monitoring planned remediation efforts. Concentrations of metals were generally higher in downstream sites compared with upstream or reference sites, and two sites contained metal concentrations in macroinvertebrates greater than values reported to reduce health and survival of resident trout. Macroinvertebrate assemblage was correlated with metal concentrations in biofilm and macroinvertebrates. However, macroinvertebrate metrics were significantly correlated with a greater number of biofilm metals (8) than metals in invertebrates (4). Lead concentrations in biofilm appeared to have the most significant impact on macroinvertebrate assemblage. Metal concentrations in macroinvertebrates were directly proportional to concentrations in biofilm, indicating biofilm as a potential surrogate for monitoring metal impacts in aquatic systems. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006.
Additional publication details
Biomonitoring in the Boulder River watershed, Montana, USA: Metal concentrations in biofilm and macroinvertebrates, and relations with macroinvertebrate assemblage