Water quality and health status of the Senegal River estuary

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Journal: Mar Pollut Bull 2004/04/28
Published: 2004
Authors: Troussellier, M.;Got, P.;Bouvy, M.;M'Boup, M.;Arfi, R.;Lebihan, F.;Monfort, P.;Corbin, D.;Bernard, C.
Address: Laboratoire Ecosystemes lagunaires, UMR 5119 CNRS, Universite Montpellier II, Case 093, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier 5, France. troussel@univ-montp2.fr

The Senegal River estuary was sampled in May 2002 to get the first data on both the trophic and sanitary status of the water of the main river of the northwest African coast. Several physical, chemical and microbiological variables were measured twice along a transect. Inorganic nutrient concentrations were low while phytoplanktonic abundances (0.58-1.8 x 10(5) cells ml(-1)), bacterial abundances (0.27-8.1 x 10(7) cells ml(-1)), activity (22-474 pmol l(-1) h(-1)), were among the highest recorded in such ecosystems. Microbiological variables revealed a eutrophicated status for this estuary. Largest abundances of fecal contamination bacterial indicators were only detected in localized areas (Saint-Louis city and surrounding areas). The apparent good survival of fecal indicator bacteria in the estuarine waters despite a long residence time (4-5 days) has been evaluated by complementary survival experiments. Exposed to a salinity gradient, a local Escherichia coli strain showed a significantly better survival than those of an E. coli reference strain.

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