Simplification in the use of macroinvertebrates in fluvial system water evaluation

Figueroa, R - Ruiz, VH - Encina-Montoya, F - Palma, A
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Macroinvertebrates have been used for decades to evaluate water quality, using measures of diversity, biotic indexes and comparative analysis. The taxonomic level of family allows a general interpretation of the ecological quality of a fluvial system, and is possible to infer the quality of these systems compared to selected references sites. This paper analyzed three localities of Central-South Chile by means of grouping analysis, evaluating if there is any loss of information when using two hierarchic levels. It is shown that the family level of benthic macroinvertebrates is sufficient for environmental monitoring. The practical advantages, the integrating capacity that can be reached and its relation with environmental variables are discussed.

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