INSTITUTO DE LIMNOLOGIA "DR. RAUL A. RINGUELET"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Plankton relationships under small water level fluctuations in a subtropical reservoir
MACDONAGH, M. E.; CASCO, M.A.; CLAPS, M. C.
Año: 2009 vol. 43 p. 971 - 971
In reservoirs, variations in water level may affect plankton biomass and species composition. Studies on the effect of water-level fluctuations are scarce and restricted to Europe and Australia. In the Río Tercero Reservoir (Argentina), the management policies of a nuclearpower plant require a minimum depth of 650 m. During periods of excessive rainfall, however, the input is such that the excess passes over the spillway, thus causing a high turnover of water.Phytoplankton, zooplankton, and physicochemical variables were monitored over two years at three sampling stations during a period with annual precipitation higher than the historical annual mean. Different hydrological situations occurred based on precipitation, spillway outflow, and water renewal rate. At high renewal rates, phyto- and zooplankton diversities peaked. During high outflow periods phytoplankton biomass peaked through the contribution of Ceratium hirundinella. Once the spillway outflow ceased, stable conditions (low renewal rates) were achieved, thus allowing the onset of biological interactions. Maximum phytoplankton density (mainly Actinocyclus normanii) was reached at such times, and efficient grazers (Daphnia laevis) with long life cycles dominated in terms of biomass. The structure and dynamics of the plankton community could be altered by changes in hydrological conditions (renewal rate and spillway outflow) that act to compromise the apparent stability imposed by steady water levels. These variables must be considered to identify disturbance conditions and improve knowledge of reservoir environments so as to implement appropriate management practices.