Calidad ambiental en un río urbano de llanura
Palabras clave:comunidad bentónica, índices multimétricos, río, Argentina, áreas riparias
Environmental quality in a lowland urban river. Ecological integrity or health of a river is evaluated not only by the physical chemical and biological characteristics in the fluvial channel but also by the state of the riparian systems. Attributes of the benthic communities and the riparian areas are integrated to the chemical macroindicators. The objective of this work is to evaluate the environmental quality of the Chocancharava river plain reach in the urban sector and surroundings of Río Cuarto city. Three study sites were selected: in pre-urban, urban and post-urban reaches. Sampling and field data collections were made in two different hydrological periods: winter and summer. Physical and chemical data were registered and benthos samples were taken from transects across different habitats with a Hess sampler. Multimetric indices from structural attributes such as richness, composition and tolerance/intolerance were calculated. The riparian forest quality (RFQ) was evaluated. The obtained score enabled to describe the ecological status. The physical and chemical indicators showed good water quality and the multimetric indices determined a low impaired biological quality. The application of RFQ index showed an extreme degradation of the riparian system quality. The combination of the indices determined a bad ecological status. The results of this study contribute to corroborate that the Chocancharava river, in the urban sector and its surroundings, presents environmental deterioration, and that remediation and improvement measures are necessary.