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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

FIGUEROA, RICARDO; PALMA, ALEJANDRO; RUIZ, VICTOR  and  NIELL, XAVIER. Comparative analysis of biotic indexes used to evaluate water quality in a Mediterranean river of Chile: Chillán River, VIII Region. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2007, vol.80, n.2, pp.225-242. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2007000200008.

Developed countries have traditionally used benthic macroinvertebrates as biological indicators, incorporating them into the environmental quality evaluations of fluvial systems. These studies are less frequent in Latin America, where the environmental protection standards for aquatic resources are just beginning to be elaborated. Thus, in Chile, the use of biocriteria for such studies remains a possibility. This study of the Chilian River (Chile) adapts these biotic indexes (IBE, BMWP, IBF, and SIGNAL) for their application and comparison in a Mediterranean basin. The results showed the same behavior pattern for all indexes, defining some areas as having good conditions and others, which, from a biological perspective, have been strongly impacted. Specifically, the IBF and SIGNAL indexes are more sensitive to disturbances than the IBE and BMWP. Application feasibility and the advantages of the different indices are discussed, proposing a new methodology for central Chile

Keywords : biotic indexes; benthic macroinvertebrates; mediterranean Chile.

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