Responses of freshwater algal cell density to hydrochemical variables in an urban aquatic ecosystem, northern China

  • Jing Yang
  • Fei Wang
  • Junping Lv
  • Qi Liu
  • Fangru Nan
  • Shulian Xie
  • Jia FengEmail author


In this paper, the algal cell density of cyanobacteria, green algae, and diatoms and their responses to the hydrochemical factors were analyzed to reveal the structural characteristics of water quality in an urban river. A total of nine sampling sites from upstream to downstream was explored in our study. At each site, the density of algae was identified every week during the wet season (June–October) from 2012 to 2017, and in situ detection was used for the relative 11 hydrochemical variables. The temporal and spatial characteristics of 14 variables were analyzed using a heatmap coupled with the cluster analysis method. The trend of each parameter was analyzed using the smoothing method with locally weighted regression. The nonmetric multidimensional scaling method was employed to detect the temporal and spatial similarities among algae along hydrochemical gradients. The responses of algal density to hydrochemical variables were analyzed using a redundancy analysis. The results showed that the water temperature (Wtemp), pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), cyanobacteria, and diatoms exhibited significant declining trends, and significant increasing trends were shown in the permanganate index, chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, and total phosphorus; the cyanobacteria exhibited certain differences with green algae and diatoms in summer and the downstream areas of the river. The temporal-spatial homogeneity of algal to hydrochemical variables showed the key influencing factors of Wtemp for cyanobacteria density, chlorophyll for green algae density, DO, and pH for diatoms. The results presented here are valuable for deepening our understanding of river ecosystem evaluations and effective environmental management, as well as an important reference for the sustainable development of aquatic biological resources.


Algal cell density Hydrochemical factors NMDS RDA Urban river 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Social Development Foundation of Shanxi (No. 201603D321001; No. 201603D321008), the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (No.41401020; No. 41601202), and the Fund for Shanxi “1331 Project” Key Innovative Research Team.

Supplementary material

10661_2018_7177_MOESM1_ESM.docx (283 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 283 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Yang
    • 1
  • Fei Wang
    • 2
  • Junping Lv
    • 1
  • Qi Liu
    • 1
  • Fangru Nan
    • 1
  • Shulian Xie
    • 1
  • Jia Feng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Life ScienceShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.School of Physical EducationShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina

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