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National Assessment of Pulp and Paper Environmental Effects Monitoring Data: Findings from Cycles 1 through 3

7.0 Benthic Invertebrate Community Survey

The second primary component of the EEM program is the benthic invertebrate community survey, which assesses the impacts of mill effluent on fish habitat. The benthic invertebrate survey helps to supply information on the aquatic food resources available for fish and on the degree of habitat degradation due to organic enrichment or other forms of physical and chemical contamination. The four endpoints used to assess the effects of pulp and paper effluent on benthic invertebrate communities are abundance, taxon richness (number of taxa), Simpson’s evenness and the Bray-Curtis index of dissimilarity. Taxa were analyzed at the family level (or above when data were reported only at a higher level); for further discussion of the rationale for the level of taxonomic resolution, see Bowman and Bailey (1997), Bailey et al. (2001), Lenat and Resh (2001) and Culp et al. (2003).

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