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Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


The water quality and level of contamination of two rivers in a cloud forest ecosystem in the Mejía region of Ecuador, the Tupí River and the Pilatón River were assessed through benthic macroinvertebrate sampling at various sites along the rivers. Many different biological indices were then used to assess water quality at each site. Pollution in the form of grey water, black water, and petroleum negatively impacted the water quality of the both rivers as they pass through the town of La Esperie. Differences in river structure and size also played a role in determining the prevalence of certain benthic macroinvertebrates: the bigger size and better oxygenation of the Pilatón allowed for more abundance of macroinvertebrates, and a higher percentage of certain pollution sensitive taxa. Therefore, differences between testing sites were not solely due to contamination. Overall, the water quality of the rivers was good to excellent before the town of La Esperie, and moderately to slightly contaminated afterwards, suggesting that waste management remains an issue in this region.


Community-Based Research | Environmental Health | Environmental Studies | Forest Management | Forest Sciences | Latin American Studies | Life Sciences | Other Forestry and Forest Sciences


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