Phytoplankton in subtropical China drinking water reservoir

Lv H, Yang J, Liu L, Yu X, Yu Z, Chiang P. Temperature and nutrients are significant drivers of seasonal shift in phytoplankton community from a drinking water reservoir, subtropical China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Jan 23.

Reservoirs are an important source of water supply in many densely populated areas in southeast China. Phytoplankton plays an important role in maintaining the structure and function of these reservoir ecosystems. Understanding of seasonal succession in phytoplankton communities and its driving factors is essential for effective water quality management in drinking-water reservoirs. In this study, water samples were collected monthly at the surface layers of riverine, transitional, and lacustrine zones from May 2010 to April 2011 in Tingxi Reservoir, southeast China. The phytoplankton showed distinct seasonal shifts in community structure at both taxonomic and functional levels. Cyanophyta was the dominant group in summer, especially species of Raphidiopsis in May and Aphanizomenon in June, and cyanobacterial dominance was promoted by both warmer conditions and excessive nutrients loading. Cyanophyta was gradually replaced by Cryptophyta (e.g., Chroomonas caudata) in abundance and by Bacillariophyta (Fragilaria sp. or Synedra sp. and Melosira sp.) in biomass with decreasing temperature. It appeared that seasonal shifts in phytoplankton composition were closely related to climate, nutrient status, and hydrology in this reservoir. Our partial RDA results clearly showed that watertemperature and nutrients (TN and TP) were the most critical factors driving phytoplankton community shift in the abundance and biomass data, respectively. Further, with the global warming, cyanobacterial blooms may increase in distribution, duration, and intensity. In our study, the abundance and biomass of cyanobacteria had significant and positive correlations with temperature and phosphorus. Therefore, a stricter limit on nutrient input should be a priority in watershed management to protect drinking water from the effects of cyanobacterial blooms, especially in high-temperature period.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Comments are closed.