The vulnerability of aquatic systems of the Upper Napo River Basin (Ecuadorian Amazon) to human activities

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Michael McClain

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joel Trexler

Third Advisor's Name

Leonard Scinto

Date of Defense



Aquatic ecosystems exhibit different vulnerabilities to anthropogenic disturbances. I examined this problem in the Upper Napo River Basin (UNRB), Ecuador. I ranked from 1 to 5 aquatic ecosystem uniqueness, health and threats. I stratified the basin into five Ecological Drainage Units (EDU), 48 Aquatic Ecological Systems (AES), and 203 macrohabitats. I found main threats (habitat conversion/degradation, land development, mining, oil industries, and water diversion) cover 54% of the UNRB, but have different scores and extents in each EDU. I assessed the health of 111 AESs, under three land use treatments, by analyzing the streamside zone, physical forms, water quality, aquatic life, and hydrology. Overall, health of AESs varied from 5 to 2.58, with 5 being the highest level of health. Threats and health of AESs were inversely related (F=34.119, P




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

This document is currently not available here.



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).