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Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity: data sets

Metadata Updated: July 6, 2024

This dataset is comprised of water quality data and benthic macroinvertebrate data collected from basins in Colorado, USA, and Finland. The data includes ancillary water quality characteristics but also a suite of trace metals observed at each site. Also included are modeled outputs that characterize the bioavailability of each trace metal to a biotic ligand. These data were used to explore the importance of metal toxicity and pH as stressors on benthic macroinvertebrates characterized as the number of unique Ephemeroptera + Plecoptera + Trichoptera genera observed at each site. An interpretive summary of the work follows. One of the primary goals of biological assessment of rivers is to identify whether contaminants or other stressors limit the ecological potential of running waters. Quantitative relationships between species richness and environmental gradients are useful to better understand biodiversity patterns. Many studies have focused on the effects of pH and high metals concentration on freshwater macroinvertebrate community but, due to data limitation and the lack of tools, the ecological effects of metals mixture in streams are less studied and still unclear. We address an old question: is it the low pH or the metals that are deleterious for stream ecosystems? With new tools, we can achieve improved understanding of the true importance of the two stressors. Our study quantified the limiting effects of pH and chronic metal toxicity for macroinvertebrate community richness. We verified that current environmental quality standards for metals are protective of aquatic biodiversity and proved that pH has a direct limiting effect on richness and it not acts only via modifying the availability and the toxicity of metals. These questions were applied to a dataset spanning two continents and diversity of geologies and ecosystems providing a broad basis for understanding how physico-chemical conditions limit global freshwater biodiversity.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date July 6, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date July 6, 2024
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:58754acee4b0a829a325eb2c
Data Last Modified 20200826
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id d6d70db2-ff23-4839-bcad-cd6a53c922ce
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash f275c9ab8c4718148e52ea077bf6f364c622576a0399c312467d1f19ea3c8d19
Source Schema Version 1.1

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