Spatial variation in the amino acid profile of four macroinvertebrate taxa along a highly polluted river

Manisha Shakya, Ewen Silvester, Gavin Rees, Leigh Stitz, Aleicia Holland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the major environmental problems impacting aquatic ecosystems globally. We studied changes in the community composition of macroinvertebrates and amino acid (AA) profiles of dominant taxa along an AMD contamination gradient within the Dee River, Queensland, Australia to understand how AMD can affect the biomolecular composition of macroinvertebrates. Taxa richness and community composition of macroinvertebrates changed widely along the AMD gradient with significantly lower taxa richness recorded at the polluted sites compared to upstream and downstream sites. The Dipteran families: Chironomidae and Ceratopogonidae, the Odonata family Gomphidae, and the Coleoptera family Dytiscidae were the only families found at all sampling sites and were used here for AA analysis. There were significant variations in the AA profiles among the studied taxa. The AA profile of each taxon also varied among upstream, polluted and downstream sites suggesting that contamination of a river system with acid mine drainage not only alters the overall macroinvertebrate community composition but also significantly influences the AA profile of organisms that are tolerant to AMD. This study highlights the potential of using AA profiling to study the response of aquatic organisms to contamination gradients such as those associated with AMD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number117536
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Early online date05 Jun 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2021


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