This study analyzed the temporal variability of phytoplankton assemblages in the surface waters of Guanabara Bay (RJ, Brazil), at six stations in front of Icaraí Inlet from April/2011 to April/2012. Our results highlight the great contribution of diatoms, dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria, represented by 111 taxa typical of estuarine and coastal areas. The coexistence of benthic and planktonic species suggests considerable hydrodinamism in these waters. All variables were homogeneous (p > 0.05) between the stations, but differed between sampling periods. On average, phytoplankton abundance (107 cells.L-1) was higher than that of other estuaries and its temporal behavior was closely correlated (p < 0.01) with diatoms and cyanobacteria. The richness distribution pattern (7 to 27 taxa) was closely correlated (p < 0.01) with dinoflagellates and diatoms. Ninety per cent of all samples presented a low diversity index (< 2.0 bits.cell-1), which indicated the unstable balance of the system, typical of environments subjected to eutrophication. The population structure analysis revealed that 10% of all taxa were resident, 12% visitors and 78% accidental, suggesting the influence of continental and oceanic water influxes. Between the "typical" taxa, the most common were the cyanobacteria of the order Oscillatoriales, the diatoms Ceratoneis closterium (=Cylindrotheca closterium) and Leptocylindrus minimus and the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum triestinum.
AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate, through an experiment with short sampling intervals, (1) the effects of detritus quality on dissolved oxygen (DO) consumption, on dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) formation and on the stoichiometric ratio between the DO consumed and mineralized carbon (O/C ratio) during leaching of plant detritus in the early decomposition; (2) the temporal variation of the variables mentioned above according to changes in the quality of each detritus over time. METHODS: The detritus of leaves, branches and litter (3 g) previously dried were incubated in decomposition chambers containing 1 L of inoculum. The chambers were maintained at 24 ± 2 °C in aerobic condition. The DO concentrations dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and DIC were evaluated. The consumption of DO was adjusted to a first-order kinetic model. The hourly rates of DO consumption, DIC production and O/C ratios were determined. RESULTS: The DO consumption (2.62 mg.g-1) and DIC production (1.20 mg.g-1) were higher in leaves decomposition, and smaller in litter (1.50 and 0.42 mg.g-1, respectively). Inversely, the O/C ratio was higher in the decomposition of litter (3.56). The rates of DO consumption (0.50 mg.g-1.h-1) and DIC production (0.41 mg.g-1.h-1) were greatest in the early decomposition of leaves. CONCLUSIONS: Short sampling intervals are key to understanding the dynamics of decomposition in the leaching phase. Higher consumption of DO in leaves decomposition indicated a higher content of labile compounds in this detritus. The highest O/C ratios in the litter decomposition can be attributed to its higher content of refractory substances. Variations in DO consumption rates and in O/C ratios over time suggest that the leachate is heterogeneous, comprising labile and refractory fractions, analogous to the detritus as a whole. In terms of water quality alterations, leaves constituted the most critical resource and the litter presented less pronounced effects.
The formation of reservoirs usually incorporates the inundation of terrestrial vegetation in the basin. The decomposition of organic matter from the flooded vegetation may have several implications for reservoir functioning, including eutrophication and dissolved oxygen depletion. The hydrostatic pressure increases with depth in a reservoir, and its influence on the decomposition process has not previously been evaluated. This study was undertaken to evaluate the decomposition of terrestrial plant detritus of different qualities (leaves and branches) under different hydrostatic pressure conditions. Detritus were placed separately in glass bottles in the laboratory and incubated in tight stainless steel pressure vessels, simulating three different depths (surface, 30 and 100 m). The masses (mg) of particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic carbon (IC) were determined for the 4 months of the detritus decomposition simulated in this study. The mass values were transformed in percentages of the initial detritus carbon. The results of temporal variations of the compounds studied were fitted to a first-order biphasic decay model. The hydrostatic pressure exhibited no significant effects on litter decomposition. On the other hand, the detritus chemical composition (i.e. the presence of labile and refractory compounds) was the determining factor for the decomposition curve shape and for the differences observed between the leaves and branches. The greatest POC loss from leaves, and resulting larger DOC mass, indicated the leaves were more labile than the branches. The results also indicated the branches are the main detritus remaining in a reservoir over time.
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