, Volume 470, Issue 1-3, pp 235-245

Spatial and temporal dynamics of phytoplankton communities along a regulated river system, the Nakdong River, Korea

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Abstract

The longitudinal distribution and seasonal fluctuation of phytoplankton communities was studied along the middle to lower part of a regulated river system (Nakdong River, Korea). Phytoplankton biomass decreased sharply in the middle part of the river (182 km upward the estuary dam), and then increased downstream reaching a maximum at the last sampling station (27 km upward the estuary dam). In contrast, there was little downstream fluctuation in species composition, irrespective of pronounced differences in nutrient concentrations (TN, TP, NO3, NH4, PO4) as well as in algal biomass. In the main river channel, small centric diatoms (Stephanodiscus hantzschii, Cyclotella meneghiniana) and pennate diatoms (Synedra, Fragilaria, Nitzschia) were dominant from winter to early spring (November–April). A mixed community of cryptomonads, centric and pennate diatoms, and coenobial greens (Pediastrum, Scenedesmus) was dominant in late spring (May–June). Blue-green algae (Anabaena, Microcystis, Oscillatoria) were dominant in the summer (July–September). A mid-summer Microcystis bloom occurred at all study sites during the dry season, when discharge was low, though the nutrient concentration varied in each study site. Nutrients appeared everywhere to be in excess of algal requirement and apparently did not influence markedly the downstream and seasonal phytoplankton compositional differences in this river.