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Tubificids and water quality: a review
Aston, R.J. (1973). Tubificids and water quality: a review. Environ. Pollut. 5(1): 1-10
In: Environmental Pollution. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0269-7491, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine; Brackish water; Fresh water

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  • Aston, R.J.

    In conditions of low dissolved oxygen concentrations prevalent in water bodies receiving heavy sewage pollution, Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri and Tubifex tubifex predominate and other species are eliminated in a rough sequence, dependent on the level of pollution. The respiratory physiology of some species is adapted to operate at very low oxygen concentrations and they are able to survive for long periods in anaerobic conditions. The reproductive rate of L. hoffmeisteri is also unaltered by decrease in dissolved oxygen to very low concentrations.

    Heavy ions, such as copper, are likely to eliminate tubificids, but the insecticide BHC may cause an increase in tubicifids while other aquatic invertebrates are eliminated. Warm condenser effluents are likely to increase the abundance of L. hoffmeisteri and, in some cases, provide suitable conditions for colonisation by the exotic tubificid, Branchiura sowerbyi. An evaluation is made of the possible use of tubificids as indicators of water quality.

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