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An assessment of periphyton mats using CHEMTAX and traditional methods to evaluate the seasonal dynamic in post-mining lakes

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Abstract

This study evaluated periphyton biomass, nutrient content, and taxonomical composition in three nutrient-poor post-mining lakes in the Czech Republic. Two methods, microscopy and chemotaxonomy, were used to determine the taxonomical composition of autotrophs. Both methods identified diatoms, Chlorophyta, and Cyanobacteria as the dominant groups across the lakes. Considerable congruence of the taxonomical methods was found for diatoms and Chlorophyta, however results for Cyanobacteria showed poor correlation. The differences in periphyton features among the lakes were mostly explained by the lake age and trophy. Moreover, high amounts of overwintering biomass show that periphyton development is not established “de novo” each year but its current stage is a cumulative result of previous years. Beside the lake age and trophy, limnological characteristics such as Si or Mg2+ also affect periphyton taxonomical composition. No correlation of periphytic C:N:P molar ratios with lake water nitrogen and phosphorus, suggests role of additional process to the nutrient uptake, likely internal nutrient recycling in periphyton. These findings are essential in predicting further succession in the examined post-mining lakes and serve as a model for newly formed lakes. As more lakes will be formed within the post-mining recultivation in the short horizon, our study contributes to their successful management.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR 19-05791S), the European Commission (Erasmus+ internship) and the CAS within the program of Strategy AV 21, Land save and recovery. The project would not be possible without tight cooperation with the University of Vienna, where pigment analysis took place. We would like to thank companies Palivový Kombinát Ústí s.p. and Sokolovská Uhelná, who provided the boat and chemical data for our project, and Povodí Ohře, a state enterprise, for providing hydrochemical data.

Funding

Czech Science Foundation (GACR 19-05791S), European Commission (Erasmus+ internship) and by the CAS within the program of the Strategy AV 21, Land save and recovery.

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EK wrote the manuscript. EK, MS, MP and KR designed the study. EK, KC, TB, LS and KR collected the data. EK, TB and MS analysed the data. All authors made substantial contributions to the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Klára Řeháková.

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Konopáčová, E., Schagerl, M., Bešta, T. et al. An assessment of periphyton mats using CHEMTAX and traditional methods to evaluate the seasonal dynamic in post-mining lakes. Hydrobiologia 850, 3143–3160 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-023-05243-1

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