Species diversity and water quality in Galveston Bay, Texas

Copeland BJ
Bechtel TJ
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The relationships between sp diversity of phytoplankton, zooplankton, nekton and benthos samples and the water quality of Galveston Bay, Texas were quantitatively compared. 2 water quality parameters (i.e., percent waste water or the toxicity of the water at a given sampling station) were found to be inversely correlated with sp diversity. A computerized dispersion model was used to calculate percent waste water. Toxicity was measured by subjecting a blue-green alga (Coccochloris elebans) to water samples and by utilizing growth depression as the toxicity criterion. Waters from the Houston Ship Channel and the Trinity River were found to be significantly toxic and the dispersion model was again used to determine the distribution of toxicity to each bay area. Evidence that toxicity was dispersed with input waters was experimentally verified. Those areas receiving the greatest amounts of toxic effluent exhibited the lowest mean annual diversities. Predictive equations were generated, indicating that diversity at any point in the bay can be computed from Houston Ship Channel diversity and the dispersion model. Computations were also accomplished whereby dilution and/or treatment of waste inflows could be estimated to achieve a desired and/or acceptable diversity level in the bay

Dispersion, growth, Q5 01501 General, species diversity, Toxicity, USA, Water quality