Kairi Käiro will defend her doctoral thesis titled "Biological quality according to macroinvertebrates in streams of Estonia (Baltic ecoregion of Europe) − effects of human-induced hydromorphological changes" on 3 June at 10.15 at Vanemuise 46, room 301.
Taavi Virro, PhD, Lecturer, University of Tartu, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
Henn Timm, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Estonian University of Life Sciences
Opponent: Kęstutis Arbačiauskas, PhD, Lead Research Fellow, Nature Research Centre, Institute of Ecology (Lithuania)
Alteration of hydromorphology as a consequence of human activities (e.g. damming and channelization) poses a significant threat to habitat quality and in turn to riverine communities. Taxonomic composition of benthic macroinvertebrates has been widely used as an indicator of running water quality. It is not clear whether the metrics included in the Estonian multimetric index of biological quality reflect hydromorphological disturbances appropriately. The aims of this Theses were 1) to assess the effect of damming and channelization on stream biological quality using current national multimetric index, and 2) to develop new index specially for hydromorphologically degraded streams. Most macroinvertebrate-based indices of biological quality, belonging to the corresponding national multimetric index, were significantly and negatively influenced both by damming and channelization. The new index The MESH distinguished reliably the above-dam macroinvertebrate communities from those of the other areas.