Macrobenthic distribution and community structure in the upper navigation pools of the Upper Mississippi River
The northern section of the Upper Mississippi River supports a diverse macrobenthic assemblage. Distribution of this benthic fauna, benthic community structure, and factors which influences which influence both of these phenomena in these upper pools are reviewed. Dumping of heavy loads of municipal and industrial wastes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area has severely stressed the benthic community. Once abundant, pollution-sensitive mayflies, Hexagenia bilineata and H. limbata, are noticeably absent, replaced by pollution-tolerant oligochaetes and midges (notably Chironomus). Harmful effects of this pollution are not restricted to the area immediately downstream from the Twin Cities. In Lake Pepin, the Hexagenia population has suffered a drastic decline. The benthic community is characterized by low species diversity and a dominant, pollution-tolerant Chironomus plumosus — Oligochaeta — Sphaeriidae — Hirudinea community complex. Farther south, effects of the high organic load which originates approximately 226 km upstream are ameliorated. Inundation of large, diverse land areas contributes to the great ecological diversity in Pools No. 7 and No. 8. In Navigation Pool No. 7, benthic standing crops in the backwater pool areas (biomass range: 2.08–26.96 g m?2) exceed those in the main channel (biomass range: 0.05–1.02 g m?2). Greater numbers of burrowing mayflies and mollusks were found in the pool areas. Of 131 taxa collected from 1976–1977 in Lake Onalaska, which occupies most of Pool No. 7, eight dominant groups — Oligochaeta, Hirudinea, Isopoda, Amphipoda, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Gastropoda, and Pelecypoda — accounted for 90–93% of the macroinvertebrates. In Pool No. 8, over half of the 144 benthic taxa collected during the summer of 1975 were insect nymphs and larvae. Oligochaetes were by far the most ubiquitous and dominant macroinvertebrates. Habitat preferences of particular benthic forms reflected distributional relationships between macroinvertebrates and physical-chemical conditions. Benthic production, in terms of total wet weight m?2 and macroinvertebrate density in each study area, was generally greater in the more eutrophic areas. However, fewer taxa were supported in these areas. These taxa were generally pollution-tolerant organisms, such as oligochaetes and certain chironomids, which were capable of burrowing into depositional-type substrates. More taxa and greater numbers of gill breathers and filter feeders, such as caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies, and dipterans, were collected from less eutrophic areas.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne