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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 2, Pages 546-557
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2002.111
Research Article

Assessment of Land-Use Impact on Macroinvertebrate Communities in the Zwalm River Basin (Flanders, Belgium) Using Multivariate Analysis and Geographic Information Systems

Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Gent, Belgium

Received 19 September 2001; Revised 18 December 2001; Accepted 2 January 2002

Copyright © 2002 Veronique Adriaenssens et al.

Abstract

Relationships between land-use and river water quality assessed by means of biological and physical-chemical variables and habitat characteristics were analysed for the Zwalm River basin in Flanders (Belgium). The research focussed on three zones within this river basin, each characterized by different land uses, and consequently, different types of pollution, mainly of diffuse origin. Environmental data have been integrated within a Geographic Information System. Possible relationships between aquatic ecosystem and land-use variables were searched for by means of multivariate analysis.