Journal article

Effects of sediment quality on macroinvertebrates in the Sunraysia region of the Murray-Darling Rivers, Australia

David J Sharley, Ary A Hoffmann, Vincent Pettigrove



A field-based microcosm approach was tested to identify deterioration of sediment quality in waterways using freshwater macroinvertebrates. The method can potentially identify the nature of contaminants based on species-specific responses. Sediments were collected from the Murray and Darling Rivers and irrigation drains within the Sunraysia region of south-eastern Australia and compared to non-polluted reference sediment. Clean sediments were also spiked with fertiliser to test whether nutrients affected the aquatic fauna. Seven of the eight sediments from the Sunraysia region had a negative impact on the macroinvertebrates, in particular sediment from the Darling River, which supported an i..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Australia's grapegrowers and Research and Development Corporation with matching funds form the Federal Government. This research was also supported by Fosters Pty Ltd. and the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia. Infrastructure support was provided by the Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research. We thank Melissa Carew for earlier comments on this manuscript and colleagues at CESAR and DPI Mildura for their field assistance throughout this study.