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Limnological features in Tapacurá reservoir (northeast Brazil) during a severe drought

Bouvy, Marc; Nascimento, Silvia M.; Molica, Renato J.R.; Ferreira, Andrea; Huszar, Vera; Azevedo, Sandra M.F.O.. 2003 Limnological features in Tapacurá reservoir (northeast Brazil) during a severe drought. Hydrobiologia, 493 (1-3). 115-130. 10.1023/A:1025405817350

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Abstract/Summary

The drastic interactions of weather as El Niño events with catchment and hydrological processes can cause unexpected changes in physical, chemical and biological properties of freshwater aquatic ecosystems. The severe drought during 1998–1999 in the northeastern region of Brazil induced ecological changes in numerous reservoirs as in Tapacurá reservoir, one of the biggest drinking-water suppliers in Pernambuco state. Investigations were based on monthly sampling over 2 years (May 1998–May 2000) conducted at 3 representative stations with 3 sampled depths through the water column (0.5 m, middle and 0.5 m above the bottom). Temporal changes in ecological processes, especially stratification, were driven by two major precipitation patterns, with an initial marked dry period (period 1) followed by a rainy season (period 2). Dissolved oxygen and pH variations, higher conductivity and alkalinity values, higher concentrations of particulate organic material (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) and higher levels of algal biomass (chlorophyll a) characterized the dry period (May 1998–May 1999). During this phase of low water level when the reservoir storage capacity reached a minimum of 3.9%, the concentrations of chlorophyll a gradually increased with a cyanobacterial bloom (Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii) noted in April 1999. The decline in chlorophyll a and particulate organic matter were observed as a result of the first rains in May–June 1999, with the drastic changes of quality of matter (higher particulate C/N ratio). After a phase characterized by the entire water column turning anoxic, a second phase in the stratification process could be identified from June 1999 with the pronounced rainfalls accompanied by an overturn event. Annual rainfall deficit and lack of reservoir water renewal in 1998–1999 linked to the 1997 El Niño consequences were important determinants of high eutrophication levels and drastic ecological modifications in Tapacurá reservoir

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1023/A:1025405817350
ISSN: 0018-8158
Date made live: 16 Sep 2008 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/163158

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