Correlations between watershed and reservoir characteristics, and algal blooms in subtropical reservoirs
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This study examined the correlations between watershed and reservoir characteristics, and water quality parameters related to algal blooms in seven subtropical reservoirs. Analysis of the dissimilarity of physico-chemical parameters resulted in separation of the reservoirs into three main groups: four reservoirs with the highest proportion of agriculture and/or urban land use in their watersheds; two reservoirs with a high proportion of forest cover; and one small reservoir with a relatively pristine watershed intermediate between the other two groups. All reservoirs were dominated by cyanobacteria, and at times, had species capable of producing toxins. However, the three reservoirs with the lowest percentage forest cover (50%) had the highest frequency and magnitude of toxic species, principally Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. Analysis of dissimilarity of algal species composition resulted in three reservoir groups similar to that for the physico-chemical parameters, with the exception of the reservoir with the highest percentage urban land use being an outlier. Across all reservoirs, percentage forest cover in the watershed, watershed area and reservoir volume were all significantly correlated with algal cell concentrations and total nitrogen (TN), but not with chlorophyll a concentrations. Total phosphorus (TP) was only correlated with the proportion forest cover in the watershed, suggesting that reservoir volume and depth were of less importance for TP than for algal cell concentrations or TN. These results suggest that watershed pattern and reservoir characteristics, such as water volume and depth, have a measurable effect on the type of algal blooms in reservoirs.
© 2007 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.