Echinoderms as indicators of brine discharge impacts

Yolanda Fernández-Torquemada, José Miguel González-Correa, José Luis Sánchez-Lizaso
2012 Desalination and Water Treatment  
A B S T R A C T Echinoderms are osmoconformer organisms and are expected to be very sensitive to brine discharges. The objective of this study is to examine the use of echinoderms as early warning 10 indicators of the impact of brine discharges and its application in the management of desalination discharges. We sampled using visual census along transect lines, for nine consecutive years and in three different stations, i.e. before the SWRO desalination plant began operating and thereafter. One
more » ... year after the plant operation, echinoderms disappeared from the localities affected by the desalination brine. When the desalination brine was diluted with seawa-15 ter prior to discharge, it was observed a recovery of echinoderm densities in these localities. Therefore, echinoderm populations may be used as early indicators to monitor impacts associated with a desalination brine discharge, but also to detect a possible recovery of a previously impacted area when additional mitigation measures to reduce the impact of brine discharge have been implemented. 20
doi:10.1080/19443994.2012.716609 fatcat:74shlkytlnghlhywmwpl6rdmsu