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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 698, Issue 1, pp 217–231 | Cite as

Phytoplankton functional and morpho-functional approach in large floodplain rivers

  • Igor Stanković
  • Tatjana Vlahović
  • Marija Gligora Udovič
  • Gábor Várbíró
  • Gábor Borics
PHYTOPLANKTON

Abstract

Influence of hydrological characteristics and nutrient concentrations on phytoplankton was investigated in four large rivers (Mura, Drava, Danube and Sava) in the Pannonian ecoregion in Croatia to understand how phytoplankton of rivers can be explained by the “different functional group approach”. To gain a clearer understanding of the factors that affect river phytoplankton, the present study examined phytoplankton biomass and composition in relationship with physical and chemical parameters assessed in detail by preparing self-organising maps using functional groups and morpho-functional groups. Total nitrogen along with water residence time showed to be the best predictor to determine phytoplankton biomass and chlorophyll a. Phytoplankton diversity increased with higher water discharge, but it had the consequence of diluting algae and decreasing biomass. Bacillariophyceae and Chlorophyceae species dominated the phytoplankton assemblages in all rivers. Diatoms predominated in rivers with shorter residence time. Dominant diatom codons of functional groups were C, D and TB while morpho-functional groups were represented by only diatom group VI. As residence time increased, the proportion of chlorococcalean green algae, represented by functional group codon T and morpho-functional group IV grew in summer. Since potamoplankton is dominated by diatoms, functional groups with its fine partition of diatom codons proved to be excellent descriptor of the potamoplankton. Application of morpho-functional groups originally developed from the lake data, showed to be limiting because of the predominating presence of only one diatom group.

Keywords

Potamoplankton dynamics Nutrients River discharge Water residence time Large rivers 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank our colleagues from the Central Water Management Laboratory, particularly the Head of the Lab Marija Marijanović Rajčić for constant support and help in the field sampling and chemistry sample analysis, and Antonija Žižić for every day help in diatom identification. This manuscript has been greatly improved by the comments of Vlatka Mičetić Stanković, University of Zagreb and by Debarshi Dey. We also thank to two unknown reviewers for making this manuscript better with their detailed comments and suggestions. Special thanks to Luciane Crossetti (Green Guru) for her constant expert and friendly support in work, and to the Organising committee and participants of the 16th IAP for support and encouragement for publishing our data. We thank to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service for providing the hydrological data. The investigation was supported by Hrvatske vode.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Stanković
    • 1
  • Tatjana Vlahović
    • 2
  • Marija Gligora Udovič
    • 3
  • Gábor Várbíró
    • 4
  • Gábor Borics
    • 4
  1. 1.Hrvatske vode, Central Water Management LaboratoryZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Croatian Natural History MuseumZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Faculty of Science, Division of Biology, Department of BotanyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Tisza Research DepartmentBalaton Limnological Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesDebrecenHungary

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