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Assessment of the ecological potential of mine-water treatment wetlands using a baseline survey of macroinvertebrate communities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David ManningORCiD


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A baseline survey of macroinvertebrate populations in two mine-water treatment wetlands, one treating a net acidic spoil heap discharge and one a net alkaline ferruginous pumped mine water, was undertaken to assess the potential of these systems to provide habitats for faunal communities. Both wetlands were found to be impoverished in comparison to natural wetlands but did sustain a macroinvertebrate community that could support higher organisms. Wetland size and water quality in terms of pH, conductivity and metal concentrations were found to be important factors in determining the quality of the populations supported. Direct toxicity to organisms was unlikely to be the main cause of lower diversity, but the smothering of organisms via the precipitation of iron hydroxides particularly in the early parts of the treatment systems affected macroinvertebrate communities. The presence of areas of open water within the planted systems was found to be important for providing habitats for macroinvertebrates and this should be both a future design and maintenance consideration for environmental managers. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Batty L, Atkin L, Manning DAC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Pollution

Year: 2005

Volume: 138

Issue: 3

Pages: 413-420

Print publication date: 01/12/2005

ISSN (print): 0269-7491

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6424

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2005.04.022


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