This study aims to analyze the composition and structure of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera e Trichoptera (EPT) in gravel samples collected in low order streams of Cantareira State Park (CSP). By being part of the benthic invertebrates community, the immature stages of individuals of these three orders allow quick and efficient analysis of water quality, being widely recognized as indicators of well-maintained environments. According to CONAMA Resolution 357 of 2005, bodies of water present in Integral Protection Conservation Units should be framed on Special Class category in which natural conditions shall be maintained. However, there are not detailed studies on the quality of bodies of water of the CSP so that their assessment is relevant to the knowledge of the natural conditions that serve even as a reference to this area. This research project is include in a larger project entitled "Streams in the biggest Atlantic Forest reserve in an urban area: learn to conserve" (FAPESP 10/20504-5; validity: 01/05/2011 to 31/10/2013) in which the environmental quality of 28 low order streams was evaluated in a systematic way by analyses of a) physical environment (topography and vegetation) using satellite images; b) aquatic habitat through the use of rapid assessment protocol e c) physical, chemical and biological variables of water. The data were analyzed in an integrated manner in order to determinate the reference conditions with respect to lotic environments, vital information to the park management, given its importance as a conservation area and water supply. Results showed that the most of the points analyzed is in good condition, with respect to the assessment of water quality and habitat. However, ten points are highlighted for having best conditions, being the most representative of the natural condition of low order streams of CSP. In order to assess the biological integrity of the environments, the benthic invertebrates community was also evaluated as an indicator of water quality in nine sampling points. The analysis EPT that is taking place now have great potential to advance in the determination of reference conditions of the park streams so that the natural conditions, or nearest it, are known, which is crucial in order to establish future monitoring programs of the numerous streams present in this important protected area. The composition and structure of EPT in four points belonging to the group with better water quality and habitat will be evaluated.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: