Bloom forming cyanobacterial complexes co-occurring in a subtropical large reservoir: validation of dominant eco-strategies
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In this study, we analyse the spatial distribution of cyanobacterial summer blooms in a large subtropical reservoir located in the Uruguay River, from 2007 to 2011; these extraordinary algal growth events are mainly represented by scum-forming and nitrogen-fixing eco-strategists of the Dolichospermum and Microcystis genera. The use of the eco-strategists approach, based on ecophysiological work and field observations, allowed us to explain the differences in the distribution pattern and temporal dynamics of both cyanobacterial complexes. Spatial differences were produced due to much higher and fluctuating cyanobacterial abundances at the right margin of the reservoir and at the littoral areas closer to the dam. Satellite imagery (LANDSAT 5 TM) clearly depicted the stronger algal development in the reservoir arms and in the section closer to the dam. The Microcystis spp. complex achieved higher density than the Dolichospermum spp. complex. We hypothesise that the hydrological cycle explains the inter-annual fluctuations of the intensity and frequency of cyanobacterial blooms, and that spatial differences in cyanobacterial presence between the reservoir arms, its margins and the main channel is mainly a response to morphometrical and hydrological characteristics.