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Biological index based on epiphytic diatom assemblages is more restrictive than the physicochemical index in water assessment on an Amazon floodplain, Brazil

Abstract

Canadian Water Quality Index (CWQI) provides protection for freshwater life promoting healthy ecosystems and safeguarding human health. Biological Diatom Index (BDI) was developed to indicate the ecological status and water quality of freshwater systems. This paper evaluates the relations between the two different indices. During rising and falling, water samples were taken in the Curuai Floodplain, Brazil. CWQI was calculated using 14 physicochemical parameters and 1 microbiological parameter. The limits were established according to freshwater quality conditions and standards based on water use classes 1 and 2 determined in CONAMA 357 legislation and British Columbia. Canadian Water Quality Index categorization ranged from “marginal” to “excellent,” most sampling units were “good” (71%), followed by “fair” (12%) and “excellent” (12%) water quality. Total phosphorus (38 times), chlorophyll a (20), dissolved oxygen (10), and total organic carbon (10) were the parameters that presented the most non-compliance values. Encyonema silesiacum (14%), Gomphonema parvulum (13%), and Navicula cryptotenella (12%) were the main taxa in the rising period, while G. lagenula, E. silesiacum, and Fragilaria capucina were the main taxa during the falling period. BDI ranges from I to V water quality classes. We observed “poor” to “very good” ecological status, with most sampling units “moderate” (52%) and “good” (29%). Water quality for class 2 was better than water quality for class 1, as the limits of the parameters evaluated were more restrictive in class 1 than in class 2 and the predominant uses of water require a higher degree of water purity. The biological index based on diatoms was the most restrictive index whose water classes and categorizations have shown an ecological status that could threaten the protection of aquatic communities on the Curuai floodplain. We suggest the combined use of both indices—physicochemical and biological for water quality assessment in this type of environment.

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Acknowledgments

M.T.M.P.S.L. received scholarships from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). C.N.K. received scholarships from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). This research was done under the auspices of CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil), IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, grant number 490634/2013-3), and LMI OCE (Laboratoire Mixte International ‘Observatoire des Changements Environnementaux’) and of two research programs, Clim-FABIAM, which was funded by FRB (Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité), and Bloom-ALERT, which was funded by the GUYAMAZON program (IRD/CIRAD/Ambassade de France/FAPEAM).

Funding information

The paper received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 691053.

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Correspondence to Maria Tereza Morais Pereira Souza Lobo.

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Lobo, M.T.M.P.S., Scalize, P.S., Kraus, C.N. et al. Biological index based on epiphytic diatom assemblages is more restrictive than the physicochemical index in water assessment on an Amazon floodplain, Brazil. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-07658-y

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Keywords

  • Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Water Quality Index
  • Water classes
  • Biological Diatom Index
  • Ecological status
  • Water Framework Directive