Two aquatic bioregions proposed for the South Coast Region, Western Australia

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Abstract

A need for the development of a bioregiona lisa ti on for Australian rivers using aquatic fauna has been recognised. This study was aimed at delineating and describing interim aquatic bioregions for the South Coast region in Western Australia. Macroinvertebrates were collected from 33 waterways located across the region, and data were analysed using cluster analysis. Two broad aquatic bioregions were identified, the Western South Coast bioregion, consisting of rivers lying from Gardner River in the west to the Bluff River, and the Eastern South Coast bioregion, consisting of the Pallinup River through to the Thomas River in the east. Rivers located in the latter bioregion were significantly more saline, slightly more alkaline, and had higher levels of total nitrogen than those located in the Western South Coast bioregion. Many species proved significant in distinguishing the two bioregions. The successful implementation of a biotic classification method to delineate aquatic bioregions for the South Coast Region indicates that the approach may be easily instituted and adapted for other regions within Western Australia, and could be undertaken using macroinvertebrate data generated by past sampling programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
Volume92
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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