[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to assess the effects of dredging on the structure and composition of diatom assemblages from a lowland stream and to investigate whether the response of diatom assemblages to the dredging is also influenced by different water quality. Three sampling sites were established in Rodríguez Stream (Argentina); physico-chemical variables and benthic diatom assemblages were sampled weekly in spring 2001. Species composition, cell density, diversity and evenness were estimated. Diatom tolerance to organic pollution and eutrophication were also analyzed. Differences in physico-chemical variables and changes in benthic diatom assemblages were compared between the pre- and post-dredging periods using a t-test. Data were analyzed using Principal Components Analysis (PCA), non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS) ordination and cluster analysis. The effects of dredging in the stream involve two types of disturbances: (i) in the stream bed, by the removal and destabilization of the substrate and (ii) in the water column, by generating chemical changes and an alteration of the light environment of the stream. Suspended solids, soluble reactive phosphorus and dissolved inorganic nitrogen were significantly higher in post-dredging periods. Physical and chemical modifications in the habitat of benthic diatoms produced changes in the assemblage; diversity and species numbers showed an immediate increase after dredging, decreasing at the end of the study period. Changes in the tolerance of the diatom assemblage to organic pollution and eutrophication were also observed as a consequence of dredging; in the post-dredging period sensitive species were replaced by either tolerant or most tolerant species. These changes were particularly noticeable in site 1 (characterized by its lower amount of nutrients and organic matter previous to dredging), which showed an increase in the amount of nutrients and oxygen demand as a consequence of sediment removal. However, these changes were not so conspicuous in sites 2 and 3, which already presented a marked water quality deterioration before the execution of the dredging works.
Journal of Environmental Management 05/2008; 90(2):973-82. · 3.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The concept of ecological niche, considered by the food dimension point of view, was used to characterize a small farmers community from the south of Minas Gerais State (Brazil). Ten small farmer families and 76 different meals eaten by them were evaluated in this study, during three different periods: September 1995 (end of the dry season), December 1995 (rainy season) and April 1996 (end of the rainy season). The analysed community appeared to depend markedly on certain food items showing little seasonal variation in their diet and appeared also to be self-sufficient in food supply, with satisfactory nutritional status. The food niche breadth for the studied small farmer families was always below 50%, with high seasonal overlap of the food niche, around 72% to 80%. The results are discussed based on social-cultural, economical and agrarian context.
Brazilian Journal of Biology 03/2005; 65(1):61-6. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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