Cave macroinvertebrates used as bioindicators of water quality


  • Ezel Jacome Galindo Pérez Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Blanca Estela Chávez Sandoval Instituto Politécnico Nacional
  • Edson Mario Espinoza Graciano Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • María del Pilar Villeda Callejas Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • María del Carmen Flores Martínez Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Javed A. Bhalli Covance Laboratories Inc.
  • Moisés Tejocote Pérez Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
  • Francisco García Franco Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco


Palabras clave:

Subterranean insects, water quality, biotic indices, transition zone, endemic lineages, troglobionts, stygobionts, bioindicators


Galindo-Pérez, E. J., Chávez-Sandoval, B. E., Espinoza- Graciano, E., Flores-Martínez, M. C., Villeda-Callejas, M. P., Bhalli, J. A., Tejocote-Pérez, M., & García-Franco, F. (September-October, 2017). Cave macroinvertebrates as bioindicators of water quality. Water Technology and Sciences (in Spanish), 8(5), 5-17.

Caves are very fragile systems which are influenced by specific biogeographic and ecological patterns that maintain unique species of fauna, flora, and microbiota. One cave species, macroinvertebrates, represents a heterogeneous group of animal taxa which is in constant danger of extinction, principally due to anthropogenic activities. Macroinvertebrates have been widely used as bioindicators of the quality of biogeographic zones, ecosystems, and protected areas, as well as to determine protected species. The Boca del Río Cave is located in the biogeographic transition zone in Mexico’s Neotropical region, and is home to a large enclave of different biotic elements. Twenty-nine organisms were collected and grouped into 19 families based on their morphological and physiological characteristics. The coefficient of taxonomic work (CTW) indicates that the taxonomic level family is the most consistent for all of the organisms collected. The Coenagronidae family was the most abundant in the study. The BMWP, ASPT, and SCI biotic index scores indicate that the water in the Boca del Río Cave is slightly contaminated, while the Family Biotic Index (FBI) indicates poor water quality with very substantial organic pollution. The diversity of macroinvertebrate families confirms that the Boca del Río Cave serves as an important refuge for fauna in the transition zone located in Mexico’s Nearctic biogeographic region. This report represents the first study to use bioindicators to analyze the water quality of a cave system, and contributes to the inventories of macroinvertebrate cave fauna. 




Cómo citar

Galindo Pérez, E. J., Chávez Sandoval, B. E., Espinoza Graciano, E. M., Villeda Callejas, M. del P., Flores Martínez, M. del C., Bhalli, J. A., Tejocote Pérez, M., & García Franco, F. (2017). Cave macroinvertebrates used as bioindicators of water quality. Tecnología Y Ciencias Del Agua, 8(5), 5 - 17.