Development Of A Rapid Bioassessment For Water Quality Monitoring In The Belize River Watershed

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Grant Allan Buckner (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Shea Tuberty

Abstract: Belize is a small Caribbean country. Its vast forests and proximity to the Mesoamerican reef, make Belize home to a large amount of biodiversity. Agriculture and development are increasing in Belize. This negatively impacts water quality, potentially leading to losses in biodiversity. Belize has not established a rapid biological assessment method for monitoring river water quality. The Belizean Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (BRBP) was created by collecting aquatic macroinvertebrates and water chemistry data from 31 sites during the dry season 2019-2020 within the Belize River Watershed (BRW). A reference collection of aquatic macroinvertebrates from 150 different taxa including 29 new records was created for Belize. Standardized methods for collecting aquatic macroinvertebrates were created and a Multimetric Index (MMI) was produced for the BRW. Four metrics were incorporated into the MMI: Number of Ephemeroptera Collected, Total Taxa Richness, Biological Monitoring Working Party for Brazil, and % 3 Dominant Families. These metrics created four categories of water quality for the BRW from “excellent” to “poor”. Tolerance values for 29 families and 36 genera were calculated. Watershed size, seasonality, and high elevation streams remain key areas for future studies. This project represents an initial but crucial step toward biomonitoring using aquatic macroinvertebrates in Belize.

Additional Information

Buckner, G. (2020). Development Of A Rapid Bioassessment For Water Quality Monitoring In The Belize River Watershed. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Belize, Biomonitoring, Water Quality, Aquatic Macroinvertebrates, Tolerance Values

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