Webber, Dale, F.; Webber, Mona K.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
The water quality of Kingston Harbour: Evaluating the use of the planktonic community and traditional water quality indices
Chemistry and Ecology
Date of Publication
Kingston Harbour has been experiencing increased levels of organic pollution since initial ecological assessment in 1971. To develop a new baseline of eutrophication in the Harbour 20 years later, and determine the most appropriate indices to be used in the continued monitoring the area, the water quality of Kingston Harbour was reassessed between December 1992 and 1993, by contemporaneous sampling of traditional water column parameters and plankton communities at 28 stations within the Harbour. Indices used for water quality assessment were temperature, salinity, light penetration, dissolved oxygen, BOD and nutrients (nitrates-N, phosphate-P and ammonia-N). Results indicated that the planktonic community provided the most reliable index of increased eutrophication and changes in water quality. While physical variables indicated little change in Harbour waters and chemical variables indicated significant but erratic changes, the plankton community displayed the classic characteristics of eutrophication. Phytoplankton biomass (a maximum of 148 mg m–3 chlorophyll a) was 5 to 10 times greater than in 1971 while zooplankton abundances (maximum of 80,000 animals m–3) were 4 times greater. In both cases the community composition had altered and there were fewer taxa than previously found.....