Phytoplankton response to water quality seasonality in a Brazilian neotropical river

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Tropical wet-dry climate seasonality is widely recognized as an important condition to phytoplankton communities’ structure in freshwater ecosystems; however, there are few studies in that field in northeast Brazilian rivers. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of water quality seasonal variability over the phytoplankton dynamics and identify seasonality in eutrophication phenomena in a poorly studied neotropical river. Water quality variables and phytoplankton were examined within the Jequitinhonha River lower course, Bahia (Brazil) from 2010 to 2012. A 3-year time series was analyzed for both rainy and dry seasons. Descriptive, inferential, and multivariate analyses (CCA) were performed. Results indicated that chemical oxygen demand, dissolved aluminum, and turbidity were the main factors which influenced phytoplankton community structure and composition. Dry season was favorable for diatoms and Chlorophyceae (chlorophylls) while rainy season was favorable for cyanobacteria. Still, it was revealed that, in dry season, lower values for turbidity, chemical oxygen demand, dissolved aluminum, and dissolved iron were related with an eutrophication phenomenon.

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Thanks to CETREL S/A for collecting and analyzing water quality samples.

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This research was partially supported by VERACEL Papel e Celulose and was conducted during a scholarship Financed by CAPES–Central de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Ensino Superior–Finance Code 001, within the Ministério da Educação do Brasil.

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Correspondence to Igor Lima Aboim.

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Aboim, I.L., Gomes, D.F. & Mafalda Junior, P.O. Phytoplankton response to water quality seasonality in a Brazilian neotropical river. Environ Monit Assess 192, 70 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10661-019-7882-5

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  • Phytoplankton ecology
  • Functional groups
  • Jequitinhonha River
  • Eutrophication