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Assessing the ecological impact of banana farms on water quality using aquatic macroinvertebrate community composition
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Cardiff University, UK.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 52018 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 25, no 14, p. 13373-13381Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Costa Rica, considerable effort goes to conservation and protection of biodiversity, while at the same time agricultural pesticide use is among the highest in the world. Several protected areas, some being wetlands or marine reserves, are situated downstream large-scale banana farms, with an average of 57 pesticide applications per year. The banana industry is increasingly aware of the need to reduce their negative environmental impact, but few ecological field studies have been made to evaluate the efficiency of proposed mitigation strategies. This study compared the composition of benthic macroinvertebrate communities up- and downstream effluent water from banana farms in order to assess whether benthic invertebrate community structure can be used to detect environmental impact of banana fanning, and thereby usable to assess improvements in management practises. Aquatic invertebrate samples were collected at 13 sites, using kick-net sampling. both up- and downstream banana farms in fast flowing streams in the Caribbean zone of Costa Rica. In total, 2888 invertebrate specimens were collected, belonging to 15 orders and 48 families or taxa. The change in community composition was analysed using multivariate statistics. Additionally, a biodiversity index and the Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) score system was applied along with a number of community composition descriptors. Multivariate analyses indicated that surface waters immediately up- and downstream large-scale banana farms have different macroinvertebrate community compositions with the most evident differences being higher dominance by a single taxa and a much higher total abundance, mostly of that same taxon. Assessment of macroinvertebrate community composition thus appears to be a viable approach to detect negative impact from chemical-intensive agriculture and could become an effective means to monitor the efficacy of changes/proposed improvements in fanning practises in Costa Rica and similar systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 25, no 14, p. 13373-13381
Keywords [en]
Costa Rica, Banana production, Benthic macroinvertebrates, Water quality, Monitoring, Risk assessment
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157803DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-8248-yISI: 000433038500016PubMedID: 28116625OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157803DiVA, id: diva2:1235227
Available from: 2018-07-24 Created: 2018-07-24 Last updated: 2018-07-24Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, OlaSanderson Bellamy, AngelinaTedengren, MichaelGunnarsson, Jonas S.
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