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Downstream Effects of Erosion from Small-Scale Gold Mining on the Instream Habitat and Fish Community of a Small Neotropical Rainforest Stream



Downstream Effects of Erosion from Small-Scale Gold Mining on the Instream Habitat and Fish Community of a Small Neotropical Rainforest Stream



Conservation Biology 18(1): 1-14



The impact of erosion from goldfields on the instream habitat and fish community of a Neotropical rain forest stream was investigated. A paired watershed design was employed to compare the habitat and fish community structure of an undisturbed rain forest stream with those of a stream affected by gold mining within the Gros Rosebel gold concession of Suriname. The findings indicated that erosion associated with small-scale gold mining reduces fish diversity and modifies community structure due to increased turbidity caused by an increased load of suspended sediment and a decrease in instream habitat diversity linked with sedimentation. In the study area, gold mining has taken place over 7 years and is still occurring, but the sediment stored in the streambed is expected to constitute a pollution problem long after the departure of the gold miners.

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Accession: 009823107

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00080.x


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