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Degraded functional structure of macroinvertebrates caused by commercial sand dredging practices in a flood plain lake
Meng, X.; Chen, J.; Li, Z.; Liu, Z.; Jiang, X.; Ge, Y.; Cooper, K.M.; Xie, Z. (2020). Degraded functional structure of macroinvertebrates caused by commercial sand dredging practices in a flood plain lake. Environ. Pollut. 263(Part B): 114415. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114415
In: Environmental Pollution. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0269-7491; e-ISSN 1873-6424, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Commercial sand dredging; Impacts of sand dredging; Taxonomic structure; Functional structure; Macroinvertebrates

Authors  Top 
  • Meng, X.
  • Chen, J.
  • Li, Z.
  • Liu, Z.
  • Jiang, X.
  • Ge, Y.
  • Cooper, K.M., more
  • Xie, Z.

Abstract
    In parts of developing countries, the over-exploitation of sands from inland waters has led to serious environmental concerns. However, understanding of the impacts of commercial sand dredging on inland water ecosystem functions remains limited. Herein, we assess the effects of this activity on the functional structure of the macroinvertebrate community and its recovery processes based on a 4-year survey, in the South Dongting Lake in China. Our result showed a simplified macroinvertebrate functional structures within the dredged area, as evidenced by a loss of certain trait categories (e.g., oval and conical body form) and a significant reduction in trait values due to the direct removal of macroinvertebrates and indirect alternations to physical environmental conditions (e.g., water depth and %Medium sand). Moreover, clear increases were observed in certain trait categories (e.g., small body size and swimmer) resulting from the dredging-related disturbance (e.g., increased turbidity) within the adjacent area. Furthermore, one year after the cessation of dredging, a marked recovery in the taxonomic and functional structure of macroinvertebrate assemblages was observed with most lost trait categories returning and an increase in the trait values of eight categories (e.g., body size 1.00–3.00 cm and oval body form) within the dredged and adjacent area. In addition, dispersal processes and sediment composition were the main driver for the structuring of the macroinvertebrate taxonomic and functional assemblages during the dredging stages, whilst water environmental conditions dominated the taxonomic structure and dispersal processes determined the functional structure during the recovery stage. Implications of our results for monitoring and management of this activity in inland waters are discussed.

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