Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science


Institute of Physics Publishing


School of Science


Macdonald, K. F., & Lund, M. (2020, January). Riverine biota as environmental indicators of artisanal small-scale and large-scale gold mining impacts on riverine ecosystems in Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 413(1), Article 012014. IOP Publishing.


A study on two adjacent small ephemeral river systems in the upper Tano River Basin in Brong Ahafo, Ghana; one impacted by ASGM and the other by a modern large gold mining (LSM), showed that impacts of mining on river sediment and water quality and quantity were reflected in the macroinvertebrate and microbial communities. This study investigated the impacts of ASGM on the ecology of the Surow River and that of a large-scale mining (LSM, the Ahafo mine) on the Subri River between February 2013 and April 2014 Macroinvertebrate communities responded to the shift in river water and sediment qualities, whilst microbial communities tended to respond to water quality only. Bioaccumulation and biomagnification of mercury were evident in fishes in the river system impacted by ASGM, although mercury was barely detected in river water and sediment. The study confirmed that impact assessment of ASGM or the modern LSM on rivers should not be limited to the physical and chemical properties of water and sediment, but also include its riverine biota.



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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.