Dinámica del heleoplancton en relación a las fluctuaciones hidrológicas en aiguamolls de l’Empordà (NE de la península Ibérica). Propuesta de un método sencillo de monitorización basado en la abundancia de grupos taxonómicos

Monitoring of the 'ecological water quality' in 'Aiguamolls de l’Empordà' Natural Park was carried out between September 1996 and August 1997 . The aim of this sampling programme was to design a simple method for rapid detect changes in water quality due to human activity. These include flow regulation by the Park management, nutrient entries from effluents of a nearby wastewater treatment plant or agricultural fertilising. The proposed method is based on the analysis of the abundance of characteristic taxonomic groups of aquatic invertebrates (heleoplankton). The simplicity of the method is ensured by the use of large taxa which are easier to recognise than species. The functioning of aquatic systems has been modelled by means of correspondence analysis between samples and taxa. Results can be summerized in five environmental conditions with a regular community structure. Dominated by one taxon: cladocerans, ostracods, calanoids, cyclopoids and harpacticoids. The dynamics of both freshwater and brackish lagoons can be modelled as displacements between these five groups of environmental conditions. Nevertheless, the “calanoids situation” and the “harpacticoids situation” occur mainly in brackish lagoons, whereas the “cladocerans situation” occurs mainly in freshwater. The four principal axes of data variation have been respectively identified as nutrient turnover rate, hypertrophy, degree of mineralization of the organic matter and eutrophy. The use of these taxa has been validated by comparison with a model obtained from the species. We conclude that in a highly fluctuating system such as the one here, only persistent situations of eutrophy or hypertrophy must be equated to low 'ecological water quality' ​
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