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The dataset consists of results from two stream mesocosm experiments that were conducted in the summer-autumn of 1996 and 1997 to distinguish the influence of fine sediment loads and nutrient concentrations on benthic macro-invertebrate and algal communities. 11 biological variables were extracted from the results of this experiment and were standardized for the purpose of training neural networks that could be used to diagnose nutrient and fine sediment impacts in field surveys. The 11 variables were selected according to how well they correlated with the experimental treatment levels (high and low values of both nutrients and fine sediments). The 11 variables were: chlorophyll a (mg/m2), macro-invertebrate familial richness, total abundance, and the abundance of <em>Oligochaeta, Leptoperla varia (Gripopterygidae), Nousia spp. (Leptophlebiidae), Austrophlebioides spp. (Leptophlebiidae), Orthocladiinae, Tanypodinae, Tipulidae</em> and larval <em>Scirtidae</em>. These taxa were abundant within and among the stream mesocosm communities and are common in a wide range of Tasmanian rivers. Values for each of 11 biological response variables were standardized by dividing by their average value observed in the experimental controls mesocosm samples from that year. See Magierowski RH, Read SM, Carter SJB, Warfe DM, Cook LS, Lefroy EC and Davies PE (under review). Inferring landscape-scale land-use impacts on rivers using data from mesocosm experiments and artificial neural networks. PLOS ONE <a>10.1371/journal.pone.0120901</a>. This data was collected for the purpose of training artificial neural networks that could diagnose nutrient and sediment impacts in Tasmanian rivers. Each of the 11 variables were standardized by their average value observed in the experimental control samples from that year and some experimental treatment effects (Light) were ignored to simplify the neural network training process. Therefore, these data should not be used to make conclusions about the impacts of fine sediments and nutrients in Tasmanian rivers.