This study aimed to evaluate the applicability of the Australian River Assessment System (AUSRIVAS) bioassessment methodology to assess the biological health of streams in the upper-middle Brantas River catchment, East Java, Indonesia. A total of 84 'minimally disturbed' reference sites were selected and sampled for macroinvertebrates in riffle habitats. Sampling of macroinvertebrates and identification to family level was conducted by local biologists following intensive training, and under supervision. A quality control protocol was introduced to ensure the data were reliable and reproducible. A suite of 'potential predictor' and 'monitoring' environmental variables were also measured at each site. The macroinvertebrate data were used to develop a predictive AUSRIVAS model for the upper-middle Brantas river, and the model was then used to assess the 'health' of 15 test sites in the catchment. Bioassessment outputs - Observed (O)/Expected (E) ratios - were found to be broadly related to measures of physical disturbance from land use and riparian degradation. Through the process of local reference site selection and sampling, model development, validation and subsequent use, the Australian AUSRIVAS rapid bioassessment method was assessed as being highly applicable to the upper-middle catchment sections of Indonesian river systems.
- Rapid assessment