Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences


Biology, Ecology.


Ciberowski, J. J. H.




Chironomidae (Diptera) are commonly used as indicators of environmental degradation. This study examined the effects of mine drainage on chironomid assemblages in northeastern New Brunswick rivers. At mine drainage receiving sites, significantly elevated concentrations of metals in water (Ba, Fe, K, Mn and Zn; p < 0.05) and in periphyton (Cd, Co, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn; p < 0.002) were detected. Concentrations in periphyton were 10--100 times higher than in water, suggesting that metal uptake from diet may be a more important source of metals for primary consumers than surrounding water. Chironomid composition was significantly different at mine drainage receiving sites than at reference sites. To assess the effects of metal enriched periphyton on aquatic invertebrates downstream of metal mining facilities, periphyton was collected at mine drainage receiving (MIN) and reference (REF) sites in northeastern New Brunswick rivers and fed to Chironomus riparius in a 10-d bioassay. These results suggest that primary consumers feeding on periphyton are at risk of significant mortality and reduced growth, compromising the viability of most metal intolerant populations. Consequently, metal enrichment of periphyton could explain observed differences in chironomid communities of mine drainage receiving rivers. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-03, page: 0644. Adviser: Jan J. H. Ciborowski. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2000.