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AEI 12:205-213 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00357

Relationship between salt use in fish farms and drift of macroinvertebrates in a freshwater stream

Francisco Encina-Montoya1,2, Luz Boyero3,4, Alan M. Tonin5, María Fernanda Aguayo1, Carlos Esse6, Rolando Vega7,8, Francisco Correa-Araneda6, Carlos Oberti1, Jorge Nimptsch9,*

1Laboratorio de Ecotoxicología y Monitoreo Ambiental, Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, 4780000 Temuco, Chile
2Núcleo de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, 4780000 Temuco, Chile
3Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48940 Leioa, Spain
4IKERBASQUE, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
5Aquariparia/Limnology Lab, Department of Ecology, IB, University of Brasília, 70.910-900 Brasília, Brazil
6Unidad de Cambio Climático y Medio Ambiente (UCCMA), Instituto de Estudios del Hábitat (IEH), Universidad Autónoma de Chile, 4780000 Temuco, Chile
7Departamento de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Acuícolas, Universidad Católica de Temuco, 4780000 Temuco, Chile
8Núcleo de Producción Alimentaria, Universidad Católica de Temuco, 4780000 Temuco, Chile
9Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, 5090000 Valdivia, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In Chile, salt (NaCl) use per salmon fish farm ranges between 20-30 t yr-1 and is used to prevent and control fungal infections. An increase in salinity in freshwater can have adverse effects on freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services. We studied the effects of fish-farm effluents on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in a northern Patagonian stream (Chile). Benthic samples were collected at 3 sites near a land-based salmon aquaculture facility (one located 100 m upstream from the fish-farm outlet for effluent, 2 sites located 200 and 400 m downstream from the effluent source). We found changes in benthic macroinvertebrate communities downstream from the effluent, with higher abundances of tolerant taxa and lower abundances of sensitive taxa, which was related to nutrient and salt concentration in the water. We also studied the effects of salinity on macroinvertebrate drift in a mesocosm experiment conducted in recirculating channels, measuring the drift of 2 salt-sensitive macroinvertebrates (Andesiops peruvianus and Smicridea annulicornis), collected from an unpolluted northern Patagonian stream, after exposure to a range of salinity concentration pulses similar to those from fish farms. Our results demonstrate that (1) fish-farm effluent can alter stream macroinvertebrate community composition and dynamics, and (2) such effects are at least partly driven by high salt concentrations in effluent waters.


KEY WORDS: Macroinvertebrate communities · Drift · Sodium chloride · Fish farm · Andesiops · Smicridea


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Cite this article as: Encina-Montoya F, Boyero L, Tonin AM, Fernanda Aguayo M and others (2020) Relationship between salt use in fish farms and drift of macroinvertebrates in a freshwater stream. Aquacult Environ Interact 12:205-213. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00357

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