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Water 2017, 9(10), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100754

Spatial and Temporal Variations in Environmental Variables in Relation to Phytoplankton Community Structure in a Eutrophic River-Type Reservoir

1
School of Environment Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
2
Tianjin Environmental Monitoring Center, Tianjin 300191, China
3
Tianjin Academy of Environmental Sciences, Tianjin 300191, China
4
Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Oslo 0315, Norway
5
School of Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
6
Environmental Development Centre of Ministry of Environmental, Beijing 100029, China
7
Agro-Environmental Protection and Monitoring Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture, Tianjin 300191, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract

This study assesses spatial and temporal variation in environmental variables in relation to phytoplankton community size and composition in a typically eutrophic river reservoir (Hai River, northern China). The aim is to identify environmental parameters governing spatial and temporal differences in phytoplankton density and composition. Physicochemical parameters, including nutrient concentrations, were determined in monthly surface water samples from 2015. The average concentration of key eutrophication indexes (i.e., total phosphorous (TP: 0.24 ± 0.11 mg·L−1), total nitrogen (TN: 2.96 ± 1.60 mg·L−1), and Chlorophyll a (Chl a: 38.5 ± 11.5 mg·m−3)) substantially exceeded threshold values for eutrophic streams. Moreover, the eutrophication increased significantly downstream along the river reservoir as a consequence of an increasing fraction of agricultural and industrial land-use in the watershed. 103 phytoplankton species were identified, of which Chlorophyta was the dominated phylum (47 species), followed by Bacillariophyta (23 species) and Cyanophyta (18 species). No spatial difference in species distribution (ANOVA, p > 0.05) were found, while the temporal differences in species composition exhibited significant heterogeneity (ANOVA, p < 0.001). Phytoplankton abundance was highest in early summer (June and July), with maximum values increasing from 1.78 × 108 and 2.80 × 108 cells·L−1 in upstream and middle reaches, respectively, to 4.18 × 108 cells·L−1 furthest downstream. Cyanophyta, also known as Cyanobacteria and commonly referred to as blue-green algal, are known to constitute algae bloom in eutrophic systems. Common species are Microcystis marginata, Microcystis flos-aquae, and Oscillatoria sp. This was the dominant phyla during summer months, especially in the middle and lower reaches of the stream reservoir where it accounted for 88.9% of the phytoplankton community. Shannon weaver index (H’) and Pielous’s evenness index (J’) were extremely low (1.91–2.43 for H’ and 0.39–0.45 for J’) in samples collected from the lower part of the stream during the period of algal bloom, indicating an imbalance in the phytoplankton communities. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that water temperature (WT) and possible pH, along with nitrate (NO3-N) and nitrite (NO2-N), were the most important explanatory parameters in regard to phytoplankton composition. This research provides an understanding of the role of physicochemical water quality parameters in governing algal blooms and phytoplankton composition in river reservoirs. View Full-Text
Keywords: river-type reservoir; eutrophication; environmental factors; phytoplankton; canonical corresponding analysis (CCA) river-type reservoir; eutrophication; environmental factors; phytoplankton; canonical corresponding analysis (CCA)
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Zhao, W.; Li, Y.; Jiao, Y.; Zhou, B.; Vogt, R.D.; Liu, H.; Ji, M.; Ma, Z.; Li, A.; Zhou, B.; Xu, Y. Spatial and Temporal Variations in Environmental Variables in Relation to Phytoplankton Community Structure in a Eutrophic River-Type Reservoir. Water 2017, 9, 754.

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