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Article

Assessment of Water Quality Based on Trophic Status and Nutrients-Chlorophyll Empirical Models of Different Elevation Reservoirs

Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shiming Ding
Water 2021, 13(24), 3640; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243640
Received: 22 October 2021 / Revised: 25 November 2021 / Accepted: 14 December 2021 / Published: 17 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality Changes of Lakes and Rivers)
Water quality degradation is one of the most pressing environmental challenges in reservoirs around the world and makes the trophic status assessment of reservoirs essential for their restoration and sustainable use. The main aims of this study were to determine the spatial variations in water quality and trophic state of 204 South Korean reservoirs at different altitude levels. The results demonstrated mean total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll-a (CHL-a), total suspended solids (TSS), organic matter indicators (chemical oxygen demand: COD; total organic carbon: TOC), water temperature (WT), and electrical conductivity (EC) remain consistently higher in the very lowland reservoirs (VLLR) than those in other altitudes, due to sedimentary or alluvial watersheds. The average TP and CHL-a levels in VLLR crossed the limit of the eutrophic water, symptomizing a moderate risk of cyanobacterial blooms. Empirical models were developed to identify critical variables controlling algal biomass and water clarity in reservoirs. The empirical analyses of all reservoir categories illustrated TP as a better predictor of CHL-a (R2 = 0.44, p < 0.01) than TN (R2 = 0.02, p < 0.05) as well as showed strong P-limitation based on TN:TP ratios. The algal productivity of VLLR (R2 = 0.61, p < 0.01) was limited by phosphorus, while highland reservoirs (HLR) were phosphorus (R2 = 0.23, p < 0.03) and light-limited (R2 = 0.31, p < 0.01). However, TSS showed a highly significant influence on water clarity compared to TP and algal CHL-a in all reservoirs. TP and TSS explained 47% and 34% of the variance in non-algal turbidity (NAT) in HLR. In contrast, the TP and TSS variances were 18% and 29% in midland reservoirs (MLR) and 32% and 20% in LLR. The trophic state index (TSI) of selected reservoirs varied between mesotrophic to eutrophic states as per TSI (TP), TSI (CHL-a), and TSI (SD). Mean TSI (CHL-a) indicated all reservoirs as eutrophic. Trophic state index deviation (TSID) assessment also complemented the phosphorus limitation characterized by the blue-green algae (BGA) domination in all reservoirs. Overall, reservoirs at varying altitudes reflect the multiplying impacts of anthropogenic factors on water quality, which can provide valuable insights into reservoir water quality management. View Full-Text
Keywords: chlorophyll-a; elevation; nutrients; trophic state index; water clarity chlorophyll-a; elevation; nutrients; trophic state index; water clarity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mamun, M.; Atique, U.; An, K.-G. Assessment of Water Quality Based on Trophic Status and Nutrients-Chlorophyll Empirical Models of Different Elevation Reservoirs. Water 2021, 13, 3640. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243640

AMA Style

Mamun M, Atique U, An K-G. Assessment of Water Quality Based on Trophic Status and Nutrients-Chlorophyll Empirical Models of Different Elevation Reservoirs. Water. 2021; 13(24):3640. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243640

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mamun, Md, Usman Atique, and Kwang-Guk An. 2021. "Assessment of Water Quality Based on Trophic Status and Nutrients-Chlorophyll Empirical Models of Different Elevation Reservoirs" Water 13, no. 24: 3640. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243640

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