Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Water Quality and Potentially Toxic Cyanobacteria during Drought Conditions in a Mesotrophic Reservoir Ecosystem

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Rapach Mengchouy
Charumas Meksumpun

Abstract

A study of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in Ubolratana Reservoir was carried out in 2019, a year when serious drought conditions impacted the mesotrophic reservoir ecosystem. Correlations between environmental factors and cyanobacteria densities were analyzed for a better understanding of stimulating factors and improved management. Sampling was performed four times, during dry (April), early-rainy (June), mid-rainy (July) and late-rainy (August) seasons, and in three zones (riverine, transition, lacustrine). Eight genera of potentially toxic cyanobacteria were recorded: Cylindrospermopsis, Pseudanabaena, Anabaena, Aphanocapsa, Microcystis, Oscillatoria, Planktolyngbya and Merismopedia. The dominant taxa in all zones were Cylindrospermopsis, Pseudanabaena, and Anabaena, with maximum densities of 142,110, 82,000, and 43,800 cells∙L-1, respectively. The highest total density (220,250 cells∙L-1) occurred during the dry season in the transition zone. Densitiy in the riverine zone had a significant negative relationship (p<0.05) with total suspended solids (TSS), while density in the transition zone had a highly significant negative relationship (p<0.01) with TSS and a significant negative relationship (p<0.05) with dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN). This study highlights the need to monitor risk from increasing abundance of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in water bodies during continuous drought conditions. Increases of TSS in particular areas during the rainy season may help to decrease the density of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in the reservoir ecosystem. Accordingly, to prevent the potential hazard of toxins to human health, the inflow (with more turbid waters) is of crucial importance for effective management.

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