Benthic Macroinvertebrates of the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus Waterways and Their Variation Across Land Use in an Urban, Academic Landscape

Francis S. Magbanua, John Claude Renan B. Salluta, Danielle Dominique D. Deborde, Maria Brenda M. Hernandez


Urban development impacts stream ecosystems primarily via changes in hydrological regime, geomorphology, and in water quality. These changes in turn have biological effects. The University of the Philippines Diliman campus, located at the heart of the highly urbanized Quezon City, has gone through numerous developments in terms of landscape and infrastructure. Unlike the terrestrial environment, the extent to which these developments have impacted the campus waterways is unknown. Hence, our research aims to assess the overall condition of the waterways in the campus based on the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. A total of 19 stream reaches were sampled in November 2015 and 2016 in the following land use categories: academic/academic support units (six sites), campus core (eight sites), and parks and open spaces (five sites). One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) detected significant spatial difference in several macroinvertebratebased metrics, stream physicochemistry, and in-stream habitat condition elements. Our study reveals that all sampled stream reaches, regardless of their land use categories, are under poor to severe pollution conditions. All macroinvertebrate-based metrics and indices indicate degraded water quality and stream health. Our results are consistent with urban stream studies elsewhere, which suggest that land-based activities can be stressful for some aquatic organisms, and at times, result in reduced abundance and even reduction in species composition.

Keywords: Biomonitoring, biotic indices, stream habitat assessment, urban land use, water quality

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