Aquatic environment

Integrated assessment of river health based on water quality, aquatic lifeand physical habitat

MENG Wei , ZHANG Nan , ZHANG Yuan , ZHENG Binghui


Received October 30, 2008,Revised December 18, 2008, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1017-1027

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The health conditions of Liao River were assessed using 25 sampling sites in April 2005, with water quality index, biotic index and physical habitat quality index. Based on the method of cluster analysis (CA) for water quality indices, it revealed that heavily polluted sites of Liao River are located at estuary and mainstream. The aquatic species surveyed were attached algae and benthic invertebrates. The result showed that the diversity and biomass of attached algae and benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) were degrading as the chemical and physical quality of water bodies deteriorating. Physiochemical parameters, BOD5, CODCr, TN, TP, NH3-N, DO, petroleum hydrocarbon and conductivity, were statistically analyzed with principal component analysis and correlation analysis. The statistical results were incorporated into the integrated assessing water quality index, combining fecal coliform count, attached algae diversity, B-IBI and physical habitat quality score. A comprehensive integrated assessing system of river ecological health was established. Based on the systimetic assesment, the assessed sites are categorized into 9 “healthy” and “sub-healthy” sites and 8 “sub-sick” and “sick” sites.

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