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Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
https://actalb.org/article/doi/10.1590/S2179-975X0522
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Influence of nutrient levels, travel time and light availability on phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentrations in a neotropical river basin

Influência dos níveis de nutrientes, tempo de viagem e disponibilidade de luz nas concentrações de clorofila-a fitoplanctônica em uma bacia de rio neotropical

Kennedy Francis Roche; Maria Gabriela Alves Ferreira; Débora Fernandes Calheiros

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Abstract

Abstract: : Aim: Knowledge of the factors influencing the biomass of phytoplankton in rivers is important with reference to the characterization of water quality and predicting the effects of environmental change on such ecosystems. The present study quantified the concentrations of chlorophyll-a in the water column of the Miranda River Basin, located in western Brazil, contributing to form the Pantanal Wetland, and attempted to identify the primary environmental influences on the phytoplankton biomass.

Methods: Temperature, depth, current speed, turbidity, Secchi transparency and concentrations of nutrients, suspended solids and chlorophyll-a were measured at approximate monthly intervals during the course of a year, at five upland and three lowland sites. Relationships between chlorophyll-a and nutrient concentrations, travel times and light availability were examined.

Results: Nutrient levels were generally low, being oligo- to mesotrophic. High levels of suspended solids were recorded (up to approximately 250 mg.L-1), especially in the rainy season at the upland sites. The latter showed low chlorophyll-a concentrations, while lowland sites, with the exception of one, showed two peaks, one in winter (dry season) and the other in summer (wet season), of 4.9 and 2.4µg.L-1, respectively, coincident with reduced concentrations of suspended solids.

Conclusions: The low nutrient levels recorded may have been due to the main land use being cattle rearing. The high solids concentrations found may have been due to the degradation of native vegetation, especially riparian, that has occurred over the past decades. Travel times of approximately three to four days may have been a factor in retarding algal abundance in the upland sites, as opposed to approximately ten days in the lowland sites, where light limitation may have been a factor reducing algal growth.

Keywords

land use, erosion, water quality, Pantanal, algae

Resumo

Resumo: : Objetivo: Um maior conhecimento sobre os fatores que influenciam a biomassa de fitoplâncton em rios é importante para a caracterização da qualidade da água, bem como para prever os efeitos de mudanças ambientais destes ecossistemas. Este estudo quantificou as concentrações de clorofila-a na coluna de água da bacia hidrográfica do rio Miranda - MS, situada na região oeste do Brasil, uma das principais formadoras do bioma Pantanal, para identificar as principais influências na biomassa do fitoplâncton.

Métodos: Temperatura, profundidade, velocidade de correnteza, turbidez, transparência por Disco de Secchi, e concentrações de nutrientes, sólidos em suspensão, e clorofila-a foram medidos a intervalos aproximadamente mensais, durante um ano, em cinco pontos do planalto e três pontos na planície. Relações entre clorofila a e concentrações de nutrientes, tempo de viagem e disponibilidade de luz foram examinados.

Resultados: Os níveis de nutrientes foram geralmente baixos, sendo oligo- a mesotrófico. Altas concentrações de sólidos em suspensão foram encontradas (até aproximadamente 250 mg.L-1), especialmente na época chuvosa nos pontos no planalto. No planalto ocorreram baixas concentrações de clorofila-a, enquanto nos pontos da planície, com exceção de um, ocorreram dois picos, no inverno (época seca) e no verão (época chuvosa), de 4,9 e 2,4 µg.L-1, respectivamente, coincidindo com concentrações reduzidas de sólidos em suspensão.

Conclusões: Os baixos níveis de nutrientes provavelmente estão relacionados ao uso da terra, principalmente para pecuária. As altas concentrações de sólidos devem estar relacionadas à degradação da vegetação nativa, especialmente da mata ciliar nas últimas décadas. O tempo de viagem de aproximadamente três a quarto dias nos pontos de planalto, comparado ao tempo de aproximadamente dez dias nos pontos da planície, podem ter sido um fator determinante na diminuição da abundância de algas no planalto, enquanto a limitação por luz poderia ter sido importante diminuindo o crescimento de algas na planície.
 

Palavras-chave

uso da terra, erosão, qualidade de água, Pantanal, algas

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Submitted date:
01/28/2022

Accepted date:
05/27/2022

Publication date:
06/10/2022

62a3a330a953957dba2ae874 alb Articles
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