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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 253134, 11 pages
Research Article

Macroinvertebrate Richness Importance in Coastal Tropical Streams of Esmeraldas (Ecuador) and Its Use and Implications in Environmental Management Procedures

1Faculty of Environmental Science, Pontifical University Catholic of Ecuador in Esmeraldas (PUCESE), C/ Espejo y Santa Cruz S/N, 080150 Esmeraldas, Ecuador
2Area of Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Science, University of León, Campus de Vegazana, S/N, 24071 León, Spain

Received 18 July 2013; Revised 5 December 2013; Accepted 8 December 2013; Published 14 January 2014

Academic Editor: Ram C. Sihag

Copyright © 2014 Carlos Martínez-Sanz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was aimed at determining the performance of some indices and community attributes frequently used to assess river quality and test the role of macroinvertebrate taxa richness as element of bioindication in several coastal tropical streams of western Esmeraldas (Ecuador). In addition, a macroinvertebrate taxon list of this region was provided for the first time. Thirteen sampled points distributed across nine streams were selected for this study and nineteen parameters and attributes of bioindication were tested. The differences between nonimpact and impact places were evaluated mainly using one-way analysis of variance. Jackknife 2 and Clench were used to estimate the regional richness and the quality of the inventory, respectively. Seventy taxa (principally genus and family) of the main groups of macroinvertebrates were collected. Measured richness and family richness were the best metric followed by Biological Monitoring Working Party/Colombia (BMWP/Col), Odonata richness, Shannon-Weiner, and EPT richness (Ephemeroptera + Plecoptera + Trichoptera) indices. Only a slight right trend (Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and Chironomidae attributes) or incorrect performances (Average Score Per Taxon (ASPT) and % EPT) were showed by frequently used metrics. Finally, several recommendations were made about taxonomic level used, the ranks of quality of taxa richness, and the effort-results relationship in the field of bioindication.