Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 761–771 | Cite as

Temporal and spatial distribution of phytoplankton functional groups and role of environment factors in a deep subtropical reservoir

  • Lei Li (李磊)
  • Qiuhua Li (李秋华)Email author
  • Jing’an Chen (陈敬安)Email author
  • Jingfu Wang (王敬富)
  • Shulin Jiao (焦树林)
  • Fengfeng Chen (陈峰峰)


Phytoplankton and environment factors were investigated in 2015 and phytoplankton functional groups were used to understand their temporal and spatial distribution and their driving factors in Wanfeng Reservoir. Seventeen functional groups (B, D, E, F, G, J, Lo, MP, P, S1, T, W1, W2, X1, X2, Xph, Y) were identified based on 34 species. The dominant groups were: J/B/P/D in dry season, X1/J/Xph/G/T in normal season and J in flood season. Phytoplankton abundance ranged from 5.33×104 cells/L to 3.65×107 cells/L, with the highest value occurring in flood season and lowest in dry season. The vertical profile of dominant groups showed little differentiation except for P, which dominated surface layers over 20 m as a result of mixing water masses and higher transparency during dry season. However, the surface waters presented higher values of phytoplankton abundance than other layers, possibly because of greater irradiance. The significant explaining variables and their ability to describe the spatial distribution of the phytoplankton community in RDA differed seasonally as follows: dry season, NH4-N, NO3-N, NO2-N, TN:TP ratio and transparency (SD); normal season, temperature (WT), water depth, TN, NH4-N and NO3-N; flood season, WT, water depth, NO3-N and NO2-N. Furthermore, nitrogen, water temperature, SD and water depth were significant variables explaining the variance of phytoplankton communities when datasets included all samples. The results indicated that water physical conditions and hydrology were important in phytoplankton community dynamics, and nitrogen was more important than phosphorus in modifying phytoplankton communities. Seasonal differences in the relationship between the environment and phytoplankton community should be considered in water quality management.


phytoplankton functional groups temporal and spatial distribution growth strategy driving factors Wanfeng Reservoir 


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We thank professor LI for funding support. We also thank our colleagues for assisting with fieldwork and laboratory experiments.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Li (李磊)
    • 1
  • Qiuhua Li (李秋华)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jing’an Chen (陈敬安)
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jingfu Wang (王敬富)
    • 2
  • Shulin Jiao (焦树林)
    • 3
  • Fengfeng Chen (陈峰峰)
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Information System of Mountainous Area and Protection of Ecological Environment of Guizhou ProvinceGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina
  3. 3.School of Geography and Environmental ScienceGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina
  4. 4.School of Public HealthGuizhou Medical UniversityGuiyangChina

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