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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2018, Vol 18, Num, 7     (Pages: 871-880)

Ecological Health Assessments of 72 Streams and Rivers in Relation to Water Chemistry and Land-Use Patterns in South Korea

Md. Mamun 1 ,Kwang-Guk An 1

1 Chungnam National University, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon-34134, South Korea DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v18_7_05 Viewed : 715 - Downloaded : 697 This research was conducted as an ambitious eco-project of `National Ecological Health Assessments in South Korea` to diagnose the ecological health of 72 streams and rivers in Geum river watershed by an Index of Biological Integrity Model (IBIKW) based on fish assemblages. The objectives of this study were to know the systematic impacts on the health of the biological systems, identification of impairment and take a snap-shot of the biological community structure. The IBIKW model consists of eight fish assemblages attributes, termed as metrics, that are related to environmental quality, ecosystem integrity and biodiversity of the Geum river watershed streams and rivers: number of native species, number of riffle benthic species, number of sensitive species, proportion of tolerant species, proportion of omnivore species, proportion of native insectivore species, total number of native individuals and proportion of anomalies. Physico-chemical water quality parameters and fish species compositions were greatly influenced by land-use patterns. According to the IBIKW, one stream was classified as ecologically good, nine streams as fair, 61 streams as poor, and one as very poor. Analysis of trophic and tolerance guilds revealed that tolerant species were dominant in polluted regions, whereas sensitive species preferred less polluted areas. Nutrients and organic matter were responsible for the production of algae in the waterbodies, and total phosphorus (TP) was the major key factor. Overall, the ecosystem health assessment by IBIKW gives a clear insight into the biological condition of Korean watersheds and could play a significant role in regular bioassessments, postrestoration assessments, successful management and conservation. Keywords : Ecosystem health, trophic and tolerance guilds, IBI index, land-use pattern, water quality parameters