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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Leiba, Nneka S.; Hyslop, Eric J.
Author Role
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Author Affiliation
Department of Life Sciences
Paper/Section Title
The effects of a salinity gradient on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in Spanish and Bull Bay Rivers and the recovery of these organisms from major flooding and dredging events [Abstract]
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Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences edited by Daniel Coore and Robert J.Lancashire.
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Place of Meeting
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Place of Publication
Kingston, Jamaica
Publisher Name
Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of the West Indies
Date of Publication
2003
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Volume ID
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Location in Work
61
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Abstract
An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water of water of variable salinity with a freshwater inflow at one end and sea water introduced by tidal action at the other. The estuarine environment is more extreme, and undergoes more violent fluctuations than open sea or freshwater habitats. Jamaican estuaries have not yet been studied to any great extent. This investigation first seeks to test the validity of the term estuary on the lower sections of two North Coast Jamaican rivers by demonstrating the existence of a salinity gradient. The effect of this salinity gradient on the benthic macroinvertebrate community was then determined. Dredging and flooding are two of the most common events that remove large numbers of benthic organisms from rivers. The recovery / recolonization process following such major scouring events is examined in the Jamaican riverine context. Eights sites on the lower sections of Spanish and Buff Bay Rivers were visited twice per month (whenever possible) and each site qualitative and quantitative samples of benthic macroinvertebrates were take as well as water samples for analysis of physico-chemical parameters. The types of numbers of organisms found at each site were compared against rainfall data, salinity/distance from the sea and comparisons were also made between dredged and non-dredged sites The recovery rate and succession patterns of the two rivers were also compared between locations . Preliminary results confirms the loss of large numbers of organisms following flooding and dredging events. These results also seem to suggest that organisms belonging to the families Baetidae and Hydropsychidae are the most resilient against such results.....
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