In this study we present the results of a ten year survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrate fauna along four karst rivers: Jadro, Žrnovnica, Grab and Ruda, all of them situated in the Middle Dalmatia region of Croatia, in an attempt to construct the Iliric Biotic Index, which will be more applicable for the water quality analysis than the most frequently applied biotic index in Croatia, the Italian Modification of Extended Biotic Index. The rivers geologically belong to the Dinaric karst, unique geological phenomena in Europe. Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected along each river at 15 sites by standard methods of sampling along with several physicochemical parameters, including: temperature, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, alkalinity, hardness and pH. Univariate and multivariate techniques revealed differences in the macroinvertebrate community structure as well as in physicochemical parameters between the Karst rivers and continental rivers. Based on those differences, the Iliric Biotic Index was proposed as the standard of karst river water quality in Croatia in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive. Differences between the Iliric Biotic Index and the most commonly used biotic indices in the European Community and the USA (The Biological Monitoring Working Party (B.M.W.P.) scores, i.e. Extended Biotic Index, Indice Biotique, Family Biotic Index) suggest that karst rivers need a new biotic index.
Rađa, Biljana and Sanja Puljas.
Do Karst Rivers “deserve” their own biotic index? A ten years study on macrozoobenthos in Croatia.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol39/iss2/7