Lecture 15: Effect of Urbanization on Benthic Organisms

Dr. Liu Wenliang
Prepared by Roopam Shukla, TERI University

Dr. Liu Wenliang from the School of Ecological and Environment Sciences from the East China Normal University spoke about the effects of urbanization on benthic organisms. At the start of his presentation he stressed the need of urbanization for economic development, but that attention needed to be paid for preservation and conservation of biological species whose niches are present in these urban environments. Dr. Liu then went on to define macro benthic organisms and mentioned the distribution around the city of Shanghai.

During the second half of his presentation, he highlighted the usefulness of these macro benthic invertebrates as an indicator of water quality, as macro benthic invertebrates quickly respond to water and habitat quality. These species are highly sensitive to changes in the streambed, flow and water chemistry. He further presented some data on how urbanization has affected the flow and water chemistry, and the changes in the species composition and abundance reflecting the same. He spoke about the new macro benthic species that he and his team found in the city of Shanghai named Cyathura shanghaiensis. During his talk he constantly motivated participants to be observant and be connected to nature during their research.