Guanabara Bay is the second largest bay in the coast of Brazil, with an area of 384 km2. In its surroundings live circa 16 million inhabitants, out of which 6 million live in Rio de Janeiro city, one of the largest cities of the country, and the host of the 2016 Olympic Games. Anthropogenic interference in Guanabara Bay area started early in the XVI century, but environmental impacts escalated from 1930, when this region underwent an industrialization process. Herein we present an overview of the current environmental and sanitary conditions of Guanabara Bay, a consequence of all these decades of impacts. We will focus on microbial communities, how they may affect higher trophic levels of the aquatic community and also human health. The anthropogenic impacts in the bay are flagged by heavy eutrophication and by the emergence of pathogenic microorganisms that are either carried by domestic and/or hospital waste (e.g., virus, KPC-producing bacteria, and fecal coliforms), or that proliferate in such conditions (e.g., vibrios). Antibiotic resistance genes are commonly found in metagenomes of Guanabara Bay planktonic microorganisms. Furthermore, eutrophication results in recurrent algal blooms, with signs of a shift toward flagellated, mixotrophic groups, including several potentially harmful species. A recent large-scale fish kill episode, and a long trend decrease in fish stocks also reflects the bay’s degraded water quality. Although pollution of Guanabara Bay is not a recent problem, the hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games propelled the government to launch a series of plans to restore the bay’s water quality. If all plans are fully implemented, the restoration of Guanabara Bay and its shores may be one of the best legacies of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Phytoplankton (> 15 µm) was investigated in three shallow coastal areas at Admiralty Bay (AB) between the summers of 2002-03 and 2008-09. Phytoplankton abundance was low (10 3 cells l -1 ) and, over time, the prevailing cell size decreased due to a shift in phytoplankton dominant species from diatoms to dinoflagellates. In situ and remote sensing data showed that oscillations in sea surface temperature, precipitation, ice formation/melting, irradiance (cloud cover) and bottom circulation (indexed by the Antarctic Oscillation Index; AAO) were shown to govern the structure of the phytoplankton. Under negative AAO, diatoms prevailed, with the dominance of large (> 80 µm) benthic diatoms (e.g. Corethron pennatum and Navicula directa) in periods of low production (10 2 cells l -1 in 2002-03), and medium-sized (31-80 µm) centrics (e.g. Thalassiosira spp. and Stellarima microtrias) when the abundance was higher (10 4 cells l -1 in 2003-04). Conversely, positive AAO led to the co-dominance of dinoflagellates and planktonic diatoms (e.g. Pseudo-nitzschia spp.) in the summers of 2007-08 and 2008-09. These results suggest that the AAO can be a good predictor of phytoplankton in coastal areas around the western Antarctic Peninsula, and may help our understanding of changes in other trophic levels of the food web.
Variations of nanoplankton (2-20 µm) and filamentous bacteria (diameter: 0.5-2.0 µm) of Guanabara Bay (RJ, Brazil) are presented, considering cell density and carbon content of auto- and heterotrophs. Our goal is to contribute to future modeling of local trophic dynamics. Subsurface water samples were taken weekly during the year 2000 at two sites: Urca (close to the entrance, more saline, eutrophic) and Ramos (inner area, less saline, hypertrophic). Microscopic analysis was done by epifluorescence and cell density was converted to biomass through cell biovolume. Total nanoplankton was about 10(8) cells.l-1 in most samples (>57%), and total filamentous bacteria densities varied from 10(5) to 10(8) fil.l-1. Autotroph density was one order of magnitude higher at Ramos, both for nanoplankton (Md: 10(8)cells.l-1 at Ramos and 10(7)cells.l-1 at Urca) and for filamentous bacteria (Md: 10(6) fil.l-1 at Ramos and 10(5) fil.l-1 at Urca). The same was observed for autotrophic biomass (Md: 10³µgC.l-1 at Ramos and 10¹µgC.l-1 at Urca for nanoplankton; Md: 28µgC.l-1 at Ramos and 1.4µgC.l-1 at Urca for filamentous bacteria). The relative contribution of autotrophs increased after conversion to biomass. Seasonal variation was conspicuous for filamentous bacteria at both sites and for nanoplankton only at Ramos, with maximum autotrophic abundances during the rainy period (spring-summer).
Variações do nanoplâncton (2-20µm) e bactérias filamentosas (diâmetro: 0.5-2.0 µm) da Baía de Guanabara (RJ, Brasil) são apresentadas, considerando densidade celular e biomassa de autótrofos e heterótrofos. A meta deste trabalho é contribuir para uma futura modelagem da dinâmica trófica neste sistema. Amostras subsuperficiais de água foram coletadas semanalmente durante um ano em dois pontos: Urca (próximo à entrada, mais salino, eutrófico) e Ramos (no interior, menos salino, hipertrófico). Foi feita análise por microscopia de epifluorescência, com densidade celular convertida para biomassa através do biovolume celular. A concentração do nanoplâncton total foi alta (10(8)cel.l-1) na maioria das amostras (>57%) e das bactérias filamentosas variou de 10(5) a 10(8)fil.l-1. A densidade de autótrofos em Ramos foi uma ordem de grandeza superior tanto para o nanoplâncton (Md: 10(8)cel.l-1 em Ramos e 10(7)cel.l-1 na Urca) quanto para as bactérias filamentosas (Md: 10(6)fil.l-1 em Ramos e 10(5)fil.l-1 na Urca). A biomassa autotrófica do nanoplâncton (Md: 10³µgC.l-1 em Ramos e 10¹µgC.l-1 na Urca) e das bactérias filamentosas (Md: 28µgC.l-1 em Ramos e 1,4µgC.l-1 na Urca) seguiu o mesmo padrão. A contribuição relativa de autótrofos aumentou após a conversão para biomassa. Uma tendência temporal foi evidenciada para as bactérias filamentosas em ambos os pontos e, para o nanoplâncton autotrófico, em Ramos, com valores máximos no período chuvoso (primavera-verão)
This is a historical account of the biodiversity of phytoplankton in Guanabara Bay, Brazil. It is based on 57 publications that refer to sampling carried out between 1913 and 2004. The publications included are those with direct microscopic identification. Although 80% of the studies focus on ecological issues that tend to mention only the most abundant species, 24 publications provide comprehensive check-lists at the species level, especially of taxa ≥ 20 µm. The inventory of species includes, to date, 308 taxa among 199 diatoms, 90 dinoflagellates, 9 cyanobacteria, 5 euglenophyceans, 1 chlorophycean, 1 prasinophycean, 1 silicoflagellate, and 2 ebriids. The most conspicuous species were the dinoflagellate Scrippsiella trochoidea and diatoms from the Skeletonema costatum complex. The first was the theme of the very first publication in the area (Faria 1914) that reported on its bloom associated with the mass mortality of fish due to oxygen depletion; it is still often found in high abundances (10 6 cell.L -1) in more protected areas. The second was long considered in the literature as a cosmopolitan and opportunistic species, until the recent discovery of cryptic species within the genus; taxonomic re-evaluation of local populations is, therefore, needed. Besides these two species, only other 25 species stood out in terms of frequency of occurrence and widespread distribution in the Bay, some known to be implicated in harmful blooms elsewhere. The biodiversity of dinoflagellates, especially within the Gymnodiniales, and that of other unidentified flagellates (Haptophyceae, Cryptophyceae, Prasinophyceae, Raphidophyceae) is largely underestimated because of the use of fixatives that distort/destroy diagnostic characters. From the initial inventory of 124 taxa published in 1917 and the subsequent additions in species numbers, one can have a false perception that the phytoplankton biodiversity has increased throughout the years, despite the overall increase in eutrophication observed in Guanabara Bay. The reason for this may be twofold: 1) it is an artifact caused by our progressively improving technical capability to detect and identify species and 2) the possible effects of eutrophication could be better perceived when the community structure is evaluated, that is, when space-time variations in the abundances of the populations (rather than just number of species) are also taken into account. Resumo: Este é o histórico dos estudos sobre a biodiversidade do fitoplâncton da Baía da Guanabara, Brasil, com base em 57 publicações relativas a amostras coletadas no período entre 1913 e 2004. Estão aqui incluídas apenas as investigações que identificaram espécies por microscopia. Apesar de 80% dos estudos serem de cunho ecológico, os quais tendem a citar apenas as espécies mais abundantes, 24 publicações incluem listas completas dos táxons identificados em nível específico, especialmente daqueles ≥ 20 µm. Atualmente, o inventário de espécies inclui 308 táxons dentre 199 diatomáceas, 90 dinoflagelados, 9 cianobac...
A B S T R A C TThe dynamics of the plankton compartments at the entrance of Guanabara Bay (SE Brazil) were assessed during a short-term temporal survey to estimate their trophic correlations. Size-fractioned phytoplankton (picoplankton: < 2µm, nanoplankton: 2-20µm and microplankton: > 20µm) biomass and photosynthetic efficiency, composition and abundance of the auto-and heterotrophic nano-and microplankton, and mesozooplankton were evaluated at a fixed station for 3 consecutive days at 3-h intervals, in the surface and bottom (20m) layers. The variability of almost all plankton compartments in the surface layer was directly dependent on temperature, indicating the great influence of the circulation at the entrance of the bay on plankton structure. In the surface layer, the mesozooplankton seems to be sustained by both autotrophic nano-and picoplankton, this last being channeled through the microzooplankton. Near the bottom, both auto-and heterotrophic microplankton are probably supporting the mesozooplankton biomass. Our findings thus suggest that the entrance of Guanabara bay presents a multivorous food web, i.e., a combination of both grazing and microbial trophic pathways. R E S U M OA dinâmica dos vários compartimentos do plâncton foi avaliada durante uma série de curta duração na entrada da baía de Guanabara (SE do Brasil), com o objetivo de estimar suas correlações tróficas. A biomassa e eficiência fotossíntética das três frações do fitoplâncton (picoplâncton: < 2µm, nanoplâncton: 2-20µm e microplâncton: > 20µm), juntamente com a composição e abundância do nano-e microplâncton auto-e heterótrofos e do mesozooplâncton, foram determinadas em uma estação fixa durante 3 dias consecutivos, a intervalos de 3h, nas camadas de superfície e de fundo (20m). A variabilidade de quase todos os compartimentos do plâncton na superfície foi diretamente relacionada à temperatura, indicando forte influência da circulação da entrada da baía na estrutura planctônica. Na camada superficial, o mesozooplâncton parece ser alimentado pelo nano-e picoplâncton autótrofos, esse último sendo sustentado pelo microzooplâncton. Próximo ao fundo, o microplâncton auto-e heterótrofo estão possivelmente sustentando a biomassa mesozooplanctônica. Nossos resultados sugerem, portanto, que na entrada da baía de Guanabara esteja estabelecida uma rede trófica multívora, i.e., uma combinação entre as cadeias microbiana e de pastagem.
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