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Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Phytoplankton Functional

Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Phytoplankton Functional

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305
Acta Limnol. Bras., 19(3):305-314, 2007
Spatial and temporal dynamics of phytoplankton functional group in ablocked valley (Brazil).
NABOUT
1,2
, J.C. & NOGUEIRA 
1
, I.S.
1
Departamento de Biologia, Laboratório de Limnologia, ICB1, Universidade Federal de Goiás,C.P. 131, Campus II – Goiânia-GO, Brasil. CEP.74001-970. e-mail: nogueira@icb.ufg.br
2
Programa de Doutorado em Ciências Ambientais, Universidade Federal de Goiás, C.P. 131,Campus II – Goiânia-GO, Brasil. CEP.74001-970. e-mail: naboutjc@hotmail.com
 ABSTRACT: Spatial and temporal dynamics of phytoplankton functional group in a blocked valley (Brazil).
Lake Tigres is a blocked-valley lake, formed by tributary obstruction from sedimentdeposition during flooding in the main course of the river. Few studies have treatedphytoplankton dynamics in blocked-valley lakes. The aim of this study was to investigatethe temporal and spatial patterns of phytoplankton biovolume, to detect and describe thedominant phytoplankton functional groups in Lake Tigres during the dry season and thebeginning of the rainy season in 2004. The mean phytoplankton biovolume was<0.4mm
3
.L 
-1
, characterizing Lake Tigres as oligotrophic. During the entire study period, 18functional groups were found, with a predominance of phytoflagellate functional groups(Y, W1, W2, Lo) and some diatoms (N, P, D). Because of limnological differences in eachsampling period, the functional groups were different in each month and principally betweenthe dry and rainy seasons, which was shown by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA).The CCA indicated that in the dry season, the predominant functional groups Y, W1, W2,and Lo were favored by higher nutrient concentrations and high oxygen content. At thebeginning of the rainy season, the predominant functional groups P, S1, S, T and N werefavored by surface drainage and high water temperature. The dry-season biovolume sampleswere characterized by nanoplankton species (C-strategists), suggesting that small size isan optimal strategy for nutrient absorption. However, during the early rainy season, biovolumewas dominated by microplankton species (SR-strategists).
Key words:
Lake Tigres, dry and rainy seasons, tropical environment.
RESUMO: Dinâmica espacial e temporal de grupos funcionais fitoplanctônicos de um vale bloqueado(Brasil).
O lago dos Tigres pode ser caracterizado como um vale bloqueado, formado atra-vés da obstrução de tributários e pela deposição de sedimentos durante a inundação apartir do curso principal. Poucos trabalhos abordaram a dinâmica fitoplanctônica em valesbloqueados, para tanto, o objetivo desse trabalho foi reconhecer os padrões de distribui-ção temporal e espacial do biovolume fitoplanctônico e detectar os grupos funcionaisfitoplanctônicos dominantes e descritivos do sistema lago dos Tigres durante o períodode seca (junho a setembro) e início de chuva (outubro e novembro) de 2004. Os valores debiovolume fitoplanctônico, em média, foram inferiores a 0,4 mm
3
.
-1
, caracterizando osistema lago dos Tigres como oligotrófico. Durante todo período de estudo foram encon-trados 18 grupos funcionais, sendo que o predomínio foi de grupos funcionais defitoflagelados (Y, W1, W2 e Lo) e de algumas diatomáceas (N, P e D). Devido às diferençaslimnológicas em cada período de amostragem os grupos funcionais foram relativamentediferentes em cada mês e principalmente entre os períodos de seca e chuva, o que ficouevidenciado pelos escores derivados da análise de correspondência canônica (ACC). A ACC indicou ainda que, na estiagem os grupos funcionais Y, W1, W2 e Lo foram beneficia-dos pela maior concentração de nutrientes e elevada saturação de oxigênio, enquantoque durante o período de elevada precipitação os grupos funcionais predominantes foramP, S1, S, T e N, favorecidos pelo escoamento superficial e elevada temperatura da água. Naseca o biovolume dos períodos de amostragem foi caracterizado por espéciesnanoplanctônicas, (C-estrategistas), sugerindo que no sistema Lago dos Tigres o pequenotamanho seja uma estratégia para otimizar a absorção dos nutrientes. Por outro ladodurante o período de elevada precipitação o biovolume foi caracterizado por espéciesmicroplanctônicas (SR-estrategistas).
Palavras-chaves:
ambiente tropical, Lago dos Tigres, estações chuvosa e seca.
 
 
NABOUT, J.C. & NOGUEIRA, I.S. Spatial and temporal dynamics of phytophankton functional ...
306
Introduction
Taxonomic groups of phytoplankton arecomposed of species with very differentphysiologies, so the analysis ofphytoplankton functional groups can betterreveal the physiological, morphological, andecological responses of the phytoplanktoncommunity to environmental conditions(Reynolds, 2006). Functional groups ofphytoplankton are polyphyletic groups thatrespond similarly to a determined set ofenvironmental conditions (Reynolds et al.,2002; Reynolds, 2006). Their analysisprovides a better understanding ofphytoplankton dynamics than describing thedynamics of taxonomic groups (Kruk et al.,2002; Reynolds et al., 2002; Reynolds,2006). Presently, 31 phytoplanktonfunctional groups are described (Reynoldset al., 2002).Initially the functional groups werestudied in temperate environments;however, this concept appears to beappropriate for tropical environments aswell. Currently, phytoplankton functionalgroups are receiving much attention, andhave enhanced descriptions of thedynamics of the community of taxonomicgroups (Reynolds, 1997; Kruk et al., 2002;Reynolds et al., 2002; Nabout et al., 2006).Analysis of functional groups has beenshown to be appropriate for tropical regions.However, no studies have focused onphytoplankton functional groups in blocked-valley lakes. This type of lake is formed bysediment deposition obstructing thetributary during flooding of the main course(Kalff, 2002). This characteristic of Lake Ti-gres results in different dynamics from otherfluvial lake types. An important differencebetween blocked-valley and other fluviallakes (oxbow, meander scroll, and others)is their hydrological connectivity. Thisconnectivity has a great impact on dynamicsand biodiversity, because it affects theexchange of energy and matter (organisms)between the river and its floodplain (Bini etal., 2003).The study of spatial and temporalvariability is fundamental to understand thestructure and function of the phytoplanktoncommunity and also to understand thedynamics of aquatic ecosystems.Phytoplankton fluctuations can be predictiveand make it possible to recognize changesin the aquatic environment (Huszar, 2000).The aim of this study was to recognize thetemporal and spatial patterns ofphytoplankton distribution, and detect thedominant and descriptive phytoplanktonfunctional groups in this blocked valley(Lake Tigres system) during the dry seasonand the beginning of the rainy season of2004. We attempted to answer the followingquestions: (i) Was there any temporal changein functional groups, mainly between thedry season and the beginning of the rainyseason? (ii) Was there any spatial changein phytoplankton functional groups,predominantly between the lotic and lenticregions of the Lake Tigres system? (iii) Whichlimnological variables were associated withthese spatial and temporal changes inphytoplankton functional groups? (iv) Do thephytoplankton functional groups provide agood description of the limnologicalcharacteristics of the Lake Tigre system?
Material and methods
The source of the Lake Tigres systemis the Água Limpa River. It is located in theBritânia district of western Goiás state, cen-tral Brazil, in the Tocantins-Araguaia basin,a tributary of the Vermelho River (Fig. 1).Lake Tigres is large, 24.5 km long with a60.83 km perimeter, and is a popular touristdestination.There were 11 sampling stations, threein lotic regions (Água Limpa and the Ver-melho River) and eight in lentic regions(Lake Tigres), near preserved anddeforested areas and a popular touristregion.Samples were collected in the dryseason (June, July, August, and September)and the beginning of the rainy season(October and November) of 2004.Subsurface 100 mL samples were collectedfor quantitative study; they were placed indark bottles, fixed with lugol-acetic solution(Vollenweider, 1974), and stored in the dark.The density of the phytoplankton wasestimated by the Utermöhl method(Utermöhl, 1958), with a Leitz invertedmicroscope, at a magnification of 450x. Theindividuals (cells, colonies, cenobios, andfilaments) were counted in random fields;about 100 individuals of the most frequentspecies were counted, with less than 20%error, at a confidence limit of 95% (Lund etal., 1958).
 
307
Acta Limnol. Bras., 19(3):305-314, 2007
Algae biovolume was approximatedaccording to Hillebrand et al. (1999) andexpressed in mm
3
.
-1
. Phytoplanktonfunctional groups were determined fromspecies that represented more than 5% ofthe biovolume of at least one sample unit(Kruk et al., 2002). The phytoplanktonfunctional groups were defined accordingto Reynolds (1997) and Reynolds et al. (2002).Limnological characterization of thelake was based on chemical and physicalwater information, measured at the samedepth as the phytoplankton sampling ateach collection station. Variables measuredwere: water temperature, pH, conductivity,total dissolved solids, and oxygen saturationusing a HORIBA U-21 water multianalyzer.Water transparency and depth weremeasured by Secchi disc. The euphoticzone was calculated as 3 times the depthof Secchi disc disappearance (Cole, 1994).Water samples were also collected fromeach site for total nitrogen and phosphorusanalysis. They were fixed in the field with0.5 mL absolute sulfuric acid. Collectionprocedures and laboratory processing wereadopted from Mackereth et al. (1978),Carmouze (1994), and Clesceri et al. (1992).Floristic dissimilarity between monthswas measured by the Bray-Curtis index. Thefunctional group data and matrix were usedto form the dendrogram, using Bray-Curtisdissimilarity and the UPGMA connectionmethod (Sneath & Sokal, 1973). Thecophenetic coefficient of correlation (r) wascalculated to evaluate matrix anddendrogram dissimilarity.Relationships between abiotic andbiovolume data were evaluated by canonicalcorrespondence analysis (CCA; Ter Braak,1986). The null hypothesis of absence ofrelationship between matrices
 
(biotic andabiotic) was tested with Monte Carloprocedures.
 
The lines of environmental datamatrixes were randomly allocated and theCCA was calculated. The entire procedurewas
 
repeated 1000 times. Species of algaeand environmental
 
data were previouslytransformed (Log(n+1)). All calculations weredone with the PC-ORD program (McCune
 
Mefford, 1997).
Results
Lake Tigres is a blocked-valley lake,shallow and with low transparency. Thelimnological variables showed spatial
Figure 1:
Location of area study, indicating the sampling station
BRITÂNIA
LakeTigres
2.5002.5005000m051°1700’’51°1700’’51°06’00’’51°06’00’’15° 10’ 0015°10’ 00”15°2100’’015°21’0
Arco-Iris StreamLuanda Stream
04250 Km
1234567891011
lh 
ri 
Tigrinholake
  B o a   S o  r  t e
Stream
 Á g u a
    F   ri   a 
s    t   r   e   a   m
    El   d  o   ra   d  o
  S  t  r e a  m
             Á        g           u        a             L           i        m        p          a 
     ri     v     e      r
Scale 1:250.000
     V   e   r   m   e     lh   o 
  r   i  v  e  r

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