Macroinvertebrate community structure in Magela Creek between 1988 and 1996-—Preliminary analysis of monitoring data, October 1997

Department of the Environment, 1997

Internal Report 261
O'Connor R, Humphrey C & Lynch C
Supervising Scientist Division

About the report

Macroinvertebrate community data from the macrophytic edge habitat of 2 sites in Magela Creek upstream and downstream of Ranger Uranium Mine were analysed for the years 1988 to 1996 (excluding 1989). These data represented the available information for potential effects of the mine on lotic macroinvertebrate communities in Magela Creek at the time of the 1996 Senate inquiry into uranium mining in Australia. Communities were dominated by chironomid (Diptera) and caenid (Ephemeroptera) species and showed a high degree of interannual variability in total abundance. Multivariate analyses showed the two sites tracking each other over time at both the family and species level. Species level analysis also suggested a gradient in the multivariate ordination linked to separation of sites. These preliminary analyses did not indicate any obvious effects of mining although it is recognised that limitations in design and changes in sampling method over time limit the statistical inference possible.