An evaluation of macrobenthic community trends in relation to water and sediment quality in the Texas Ship Channel, the Texas City barge canal, and Moses Lake from 1973-1984




Marks, Leann M.

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Field Operations Division, Region 12 Houston


Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) routine fixed stations in the Texas City Ship Channel (TCSC), Texas City Barge Canal (TCBC), and Moses Lake were monitored for estuarine macrobenthic abundance and species richness from 1973-1984. Water quality parameters (temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen) were measured and sediment samples were collected for analysis of heavy metals and organic substances. The purpose of this report is to present historical information on the status of macrobenthic communities monitored in the study areas in relation to water and sediment quality. Where appropriate, water and sediment quality and macrobenthic community structures were compared between stations. During the 11-year sampling, the highest number of microbenthic individuals and the lowest number of taxa were collected in the TCBC. The effects of water quality on macrobenthic communities were most noticeable in Moses Lake exhibited better water and sediment quality than the TCSC or TCBC; however, community structure was similar to that found in the TCSC.


45 pgs.


sedimentation, sediments, sediment quality, water, water quality, deposition, benthos, benthal sediment, benthic environment, macrobenthos, pollution