Branch of the Institute of Natural and Technical Systems, RF, Sochi, Kurortny Av., 99/18
This article focuses on developing and testing a complex multimetric index for assessment of the ecological state of the mountain water streams on the example of the rivers located on the Greater Sochi territory.
The proposed index is a multifunctional indicator of various impact factors and includes criteria reflecting the state of macroinvertibrate communities of the natural water streams. Such index was developed for the environmental assessment of the water streams in the subtropical RF South region with dynamic development of the recreational and resort sector of the economy for the first time.
The proposed multimetric index (MMI) is a weighted average of five constituent criteria: the Shannon and Margalef indexes of biodiversity, the Berger-Parker dominance index, the biotic index characterizing the tolerance degree of aquatic organisms to eutrophication – QMCI and water toxicity, identified by Stroganov technique. Centered calculation of the components of the MMI values is necessary to bring them to a comparable scale, as biotic indicators have different orders of values.
The reliability of the calculated multimetric index was tested by determining the degree of difference in its values for different environmental groups of water bodies and their correlation degree with the main impact factors on the aquatic environment – the nutrient content, BOD5, water stream bottom substrate silting.
The multimetric index obtained during this work can be recommended for application in the environmental monitoring system of inland water bodies, as well as a tool to determine the level of anthropogenic pressure on the water body for making informed decisions within the framework of sustainable development of the adjacent territories.
Keywords: multi-metric index, habitats, macroinvertibrates, benthic substrate, eutrophication, impact factors, aquatic environment monitoring.
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