Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 8028–8038 | Cite as

Limno-ecological assessment of Aras River surface waters in Turkey: application of diatom indices

  • Abuzer ÇelekliEmail author
  • Seda Kayhan
  • Ömer Lekesiz
  • Assane Anabi Toudjani
  • Tolga Çetin
Research Article


This study is the first attempt to evaluate the limno-ecological status of freshwater ecosystems in Aras River system (Turkey) using diatom metrics and multivariate analyses according to the European Union Water Framework Directive requirements. Samples were collected using the standard protocols from 17 sampling stations in August and October of 2014, and June of 2015. Deterioration of water quality in the Aras River catchment was remarked from the downstream of Karakoyunlu, Sarısu, and Bozkuş creeks, which showed higher values of trophic index Turkey (TIT), trophic index (TI), and eutrophication and/or pollution index-diatom (EPI-D). These sites were also characterized by pollution tolerant taxa e.g., Cocconeis placentula, Gomphonema parvulum, Navicula cryptocephala, Navicula trivialis, and Tryblionella angustata. Sites S14–S17 had high ecological status according to TIT, supported by the score of EPI-D which indicated a good ecological condition for S14. The occurrence of pollution-sensitive species (e.g., Hannaea arcus, Cymbella affinis, Didymosphenia geminata, Meridion circulare, and Encyonema silesiacum) and the low nutrients like total phosphorus, orthophosphate and nitrate, conductivity, and BOD5 supported the high ecological status of S14–S17. The relationships between diatom assemblages and environmental variables were also illustrated by multivariate analyses. Spearman correlation analysis revealed that TIT had positive important correlations with total phosphorus (p < 0.01, r = 0.768). Trophic index and EPI-D had also significant correlations with environmental variables, but they had lower correlation coefficient than that of TIT. It seems that TIT could be a suitable diatom metric for assessing the ecological status of sampling stations in Aras River system and Mediterranean region. Our findings showed also that ecological statuses of surface waters should be evaluated due to the indices developed in their ecoregions.


Aras River Trophic index Turkey Bioassessment Diatom assemblages Turkey 



We thank the General Directorate of Water Management of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs (Republic of Turkey), which supported this research; the DOKAY-ÇED Co., and the Scientific Research Projects Executive Council of Gaziantep University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abuzer Çelekli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Seda Kayhan
    • 1
  • Ömer Lekesiz
    • 1
  • Assane Anabi Toudjani
    • 1
  • Tolga Çetin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of Art and ScienceUniversity of GaziantepGaziantepTurkey
  2. 2.T.R. Ministry of Forestry and Water AffairsDirectorate General for Water ManagementAnkaraTurkey

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