ISSN: 1659-2751



Characterization of the Wastewater of the Decontamination System at the Integrated Livestock Farm of EARTH University: II. Bioindicators


For many years, aquatic plants have been used as an effective strategy for decontaminating wastewaters. This study characterized Eichhornia crassipes, Salvinia minima, Ipomoea acuatica, Limnocharis flava and Pistia stratiotes, aquatic plants present in the decontamination system at the Integrated Livestock Farm of EARTH University, and focused on the role of macroinvertebrates associated with these plants in the decontamination of the wastewaters. To this end, two biomonitoring studies associated with the foliar and radicular areas of the aquatic plants, in the four artificial wetlands, were performed. These samplings revealed a total of 3299 macroinvertebrates distributed in 15 orders, the majority of which (80 %) were concentrated in the first artificial wetland. In general, macroinvertebrates found in the radicular area were both adults and larvae, whereas macroinvertebrados found in the foliar area were primarily adults (95 %). Families in the orders Oligochaeta, Homoptera and Coleoptera predominated in the artificial wetlands 1 and 2, and families in the orders Odonata, Gastropoda and Acari predominated in the artificial wetlands 3 and 4. Of the total of the macroinvertebrates found, 93 % (3060) were species that are known indicators of water quality. The majority of these (90 %) belonged to the order Oligochaeta but also encountered were macroinvertebrates from the orders Odonata, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Gastropoda, Crustacea and Diptera. The biomonitoring of macroinvertebrates showed that the water quality was improving as one moved through the four artificial wetlands, indicating that the decontamination system was functioning. Calculations of the BMWP (Biological Monitoring Working Party), modified according to the Perca Index, revealed that the water in the artificial wetlands 1 and 2 was still of poor quality, whereas the artificial wetlands 3 and 4 had an acceptable water quality.

Key words: Bioindicators, biomonitoring, water quality, artificial wetland, aquatic plants, decontamination system.

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