Influence of water quality and seasonal variations on freshwater macroinvertebrate diversity and community structure in wastewater treatment ponds, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand

Submitted: 18 January 2024
Accepted: 17 May 2024
Published: 5 June 2024
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Wastewater originating from the Phetchaburi municipality undergoes treatment in a series of five distinct stages at the King’s Royally Initiated Leam Phak Bia Environmental Research and Development Project (LERD) in Phetchaburi province, Thailand. These stages involve a sedimentation (pond 1), three oxidation ponds (ponds 2 to 4), and a final stabilization pond (pond 5). These ponds serve as habitats for macroinvertebrates; consequently, their diversity and composition might be influenced by fluctuations in water quality and seasonal variations. The primary aim of this research was to analyze the diversity and species composition of macroinvertebrate communities concerning varying levels of organic contamination across the five wastewater treatment ponds at LERD. This investigation spanned three seasons: cold season (December 2019), rainy season (July 2020), and hot season (April 2021). The findings revealed that the diversity and species composition of macroinvertebrate communities displayed distinct alterations across multiple environmental gradients, especially identifying the significant influence of organic loading levels observed in ponds 1 to 5. The macroinvertebrate communities exhibited two distinct groupings, with the Chironomidae and Candonidae or ostracods prevailing prominently in ponds 1 and 2 (heterogenous environments). This prevalence was attributed to the high levels of detrital food and the robust resilience of chironomid larvae and ostracods to organic pollution, thriving even in environments characterized by low dissolved oxygen levels. Conversely, the prevalence of snails from the Thiaridae family in ponds 3 to 5 (homogenous environments) indicated improved water quality conditions, notably lower organic matter levels, and a higher dissolved oxygen content. In addition, the study identified seasonal variations in macroinvertebrates, likely influenced by the differing organic loading and environmental conditions. Thus, this research provided insights into the factors shaping macroinvertebrate communities in a wastewater treatment system.

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Edited by

Alberto Doretto, Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale "Amedeo Avogadro", Alessandria, Italy

Supporting Agencies

King’s Royally Initiated Laem Phak Bia Environmental Research and Development (LERD) Project

How to Cite

Thongdang, Wasinee, and Ratcha Chaichana. 2024. “Influence of Water Quality and Seasonal Variations on Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Diversity and Community Structure in Wastewater Treatment Ponds, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand”. Journal of Limnology 83 (1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2024.2178.