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Categorization of the trophic status of a hydroelectric power plant reservoir in the Brazilian Amazon by statistical analyses and fuzzy approaches

da Costa Lobato, Tarcísio, Hauser-Davis, Rachel Ann, de Oliveira, Terezinha Ferreira, Maciel, Marinalva Cardoso, Tavares, Maria Regina Madruga, da Silveira, Antônio Morais, Saraiva, Augusto Cesar Fonseca
The Science of the total environment 2015 v.506-507 pp. 613-620
anthropogenic activities, cluster analysis, decision making, ecosystems, environmental management, factor analysis, hydroelectric power, issues and policy, power plants, surface water, trophic levels, water quality, Amazonia, Brazil
The Amazon area has been increasingly suffering from anthropogenic impacts, especially due to the construction of hydroelectric power plant reservoirs. The analysis and categorization of the trophic status of these reservoirs are of interest to indicate man-made changes in the environment. In this context, the present study aimed to categorize the trophic status of a hydroelectric power plant reservoir located in the Brazilian Amazon by constructing a novel Water Quality Index (WQI) and Trophic State Index (TSI) for the reservoir using major ion concentrations and physico-chemical water parameters determined in the area and taking into account the sampling locations and the local hydrological regimes. After applying statistical analyses (factor analysis and cluster analysis) and establishing a rule base of a fuzzy system to these indicators, the results obtained by the proposed method were then compared to the generally applied Carlson and a modified Lamparelli trophic state index (TSI), specific for trophic regions. The categorization of the trophic status by the proposed fuzzy method was shown to be more reliable, since it takes into account the specificities of the study area, while the Carlson and Lamparelli TSI do not, and, thus, tend to over or underestimate the trophic status of these ecosystems. The statistical techniques proposed and applied in the present study, are, therefore, relevant in cases of environmental management and policy decision-making processes, aiding in the identification of the ecological status of water bodies. With this, it is possible to identify which factors should be further investigated and/or adjusted in order to attempt the recovery of degraded water bodies.