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The effects of brine on the invertebrate faunas of some inland waters

Buckley, Bernice Rose

The effects of brine on the invertebrate faunas of some inland waters Thumbnail


Bernice Rose Buckley


The macroinvertebrate faunas of various inland saline waters in Cheshire and N.Staffordshire were investigated. The sites included a stream and a series of ponds on a commercial brinefield, a canal receiving a brine effluent, and a number of brine springs. Salinities ranged from those of freshwater to a maximum of 117°/oo total salinity.
Approximately two hundred invertebrate species were recorded and the distributions of the more common species are discussed with reference to the salinity at which they were found and those at which they have previously been recorded. Species and groups were allocated to categories according to their range and their frequency response to increased salinities. Some of these are named as sensitive indicators of salinity.
Certain ecological changes were characteristic of increasing salinity. Principally, there were sequential changes in the groups and species of animals present. Associated with these chances was an overall decline in number of species, although diversity was assisted in moderate salinities by the appearance of species characteristic of harsh environments and of genuine brackish water species. There was also a decline and subsequent increase in total number of individuals. This was attributed to the loss of members of freshwater species as salinity increased and the successful occupation of the vacant niches by members of salt tolerant and halobiont species.
The pattern of changes in the faunas was used to construct and validate a matrix of halobic indices whereby the severity of both poikilohaline and homoiohaline environments could be assayed.
A classification system for chloride based inland saline waters was also derived. Although the Limnetic and Oligohaline zones of marine-brackish water classification were applicable on grounds of faunal similarity, a separate system had to be formulated for inland waters of higher salinity, as they had distinctive non-marine faunas.


Buckley, B. R. (1977). The effects of brine on the invertebrate faunas of some inland waters


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