Lotic Eutrophication – Case Study of a Tropical River in Southeast Brazil

Cunha, D.G.F. and Calijuri, M.C., SHS/EESC/USP, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil


Artificial eutrophication is an accelerated enrichment process that occurs in the aquatic systems as a
consequence of excessive nutrient loading. IN view of the lack of studies on tropical lotic ecosystem
eutrophication, this research aimed to evaluate this process in Pariquera-Açu River (Southeast Brazil)
through four sampling campaigns in the year 2007, considering Brazilian challenges for water and
wastewater management. Chlorophyll-a, pheophytin, total phosphorus and orthophosphate in the water
were quantified, in order to assess the biological response to nutrient enrichment process in the river. The
highest total phosphorous concentrations were characteristic of hypereutrophic environments: 474.1
μg/L, 269.2 μg/L, 410.5 μg/L and 474.8 μg/L, detected in Station 9, in the end of the river, where lentic
behavior and low dissolved oxygen concentrations probably contributed to phosphorous release from the
sediment. Mean chlorophyll concentrations were high in Station 6, due to the influence of the
stabilization pound effluent (maximum of 392.3 μg/L in October), evidencing a hypereutrophic condition.
It’s advisable to give priority to actions for the river revitalization, what may be reached by promoting
nutrients removal from domestic and industrial wastewater before the discharge into the rivers,
recomposing riparian vegetarian on the riversides and respecting the local laws related to environmental

Key Words
aquatic ecosystems; eutrophication; nutrients; Southeast Brazil; tropical rivers.

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