Background - Nowadays, aquatic organisms are used as bio-indicators to assess ecological water quality in western regions, but have hardly been used in an Iranian context. We, therefore, evaluated the suitability of several indices to assess the water quality for an Iranian case study. Methods - Measured data on biotic (fish and macroinvertebrates) and abiotic elements (28 physicochemical and habitat parameters), were used to calculate six indices for assessment of water quality and the impact of human activities in the Tajan river, Iran. GIS, uni- and multivariate statistics were used to assess the correlations between biological and environmental endpoints. Results - The results showed that ecological condition and water quality were reduced from up- to downstream. The reduced water quality was revealed by the biotic indices better than the abiotic ones which were linked to a variety of ecological water quality scales. Conclusion - The fish index showed a strong relationship with long-term database of physicochemical parameters (12 years (94%)), whereas macroinvertebrates index is more correlated with short-term data (76%). Meanwhile, the biotic and abiotic elements in this study were also classified well by PCA. Pulp and wood plants and sand mining are indicated to have the most negative effects on the river ecosystem.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|