Baseline water quality and macrophyte assemblages in Pampean streams: a regional approach

You are viewing information about the paper Baseline water quality and macrophyte assemblages in Pampean streams: a regional approach.

Journal: Water Res 2007/02/20
Published: 2007
Authors: Feijoo, C. S.;Lombardo, R. J.
Address: Programa de Investigacion en Ecologia Acuatica, Universidad Nacional de Lujan, C.C. 221 (6700) Lujan, Argentina. clasife@coopenetlujan.com.ar

Streams of the pampas region (central Argentina) are characterized by the lack of riparian forests and by low current velocities, and receive a large amount of industrial and domestic effluents. Intensive agriculture in the region has greatly increased during the last years; nevertheless, regional studies to determine baseline conditions are not available. Here, we characterized pampean streams considering physico-chemical water features and the composition of macrophyte communities, and we established if the regions proposed by an early hydrological regionalization show differentiated water chemistry and macrophyte assemblages. Forty-one streams were sampled in autumn, spring and summer. Streams were characterized by alkaline waters, with high conductivities and dissolved oxygen concentrations, and they can be classified as eutrophic. A good discrimination among regions was achieved based on streamwater features in all seasons; variables that most contribute to the discrimination were related to pH, eutrophication, and conservative ions. Regional differences may be due to variations in water availability, parent material, and land use practices. The aquatic plant communities reflected the eutrophic state of waters, but macrophyte composition was not useful to differentiate among regions because it is not affected by differences in water chemistry. Macrophyte species grouped according to their growth form and assemblage distribution were related to chemical variables (as conductivity and nitrate) and possibly to flow conditions.

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