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Impact of damming the Mogi-Guaçu River (São Paulo State, Brazil) on reservoir limnological variables

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This study examined the effects of the damming of the Mogi-Guaçu River (São Paulo State, Brazil) on the surface current velocity, water temperature, Secchi disc transparency, turbidity, colour, conductivity, pH and concentrations of nutrients and pigments. Surface-water samples were taken before, during and after the reservoir was filled. Three sampling sites were established, one in the upper reach of the reservoir, one in the central area of the reservoir and one downstream from the dam. An additional sampling site was established on the Peixe River, the major tributary of the Mogi-Guaçu in the study area. After filling of the reservoir, the surface current velocity tended to decrease, excepting downstream of the dam. The pH, and the Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia and chlorophyll-a concentrations, tended to increase. The nitrite concentrations increased mainly in the upper reach and central area of the reservoir. The Secchi disc transparency and colour tended to decrease. A decreasing trend in dissolved oxygen concentration was observed mainly at the central area of reservoir. The conductivity tended to decrease, later returning to levels observed prior to reservoir filling. The nitrate, total phosphorus and orthophosphate concentrations exhibited an increasing trend after reservoir filling, followed by a decreasing concentration, reaching lower levels than those found prior to reservoir filling. High phaeophytin concentrations were measured for the filling phase. The observed water quality changes for Mogi-Guaçu Reservoir generally were not as extreme as those observed for other tropical reservoirs. This trend was related to the operation of the reservoir. As Mogi-Guaçu Reservoir is a run-of-the-river reservoir with a short water retention time, the flooded area is not extensive and the retention of material and sedimentation upstream from the dam is not remarkable. These facts explain the small water quality changes observed for most of the variables after reservoir filling. The water quality decreased at the in-lake site in the central part of the reservoir, attaining a hypereutrophic condition. This fact was related to the ageing of the reservoir and to cultural eutrophication.
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Keywords: damming; impact; limnological variables

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Ciências Biológicas e Gestão Ambiental, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, 2: Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, 3: Companhia Energética de São Paulo, Estação de Hidrobiologia e Piscicultura de Paraibuna, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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