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Consequences of eutrophication in the management of water resources in Mediterranean reservoirs: A case study of Lake Cedrino (Sardinia, Italy)

Padedda, Bachisio Mario, Sechi, Nicola, Lai, Giuseppina Grazia, Mariani, Maria Antonietta, Pulina, Silvia, Sarria, Marco, Satta, Cecilia Teodora, Virdis, Tomasa, Buscarinu, Paola, Lugliè, Antonella
Global ecology and conservation 2017 v.12 pp. 21-35
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Mediterranean climate, aeration, biomass, case studies, chlorophyll, environmental factors, eutrophication, freshwater ecosystems, lakes, models, nutrients, phytoplankton, planning, pollution load, quantitative analysis, seasonal variation, species diversity, summer, water utilization, watersheds, Italy, Sardinia
One of the primary detrimental effects of eutrophication is the tendency of nuisance cyanobacterial species to increase in number and biomass in freshwater ecosystems. The aim of this study was to investigate possible management actions to control eutrophication and assure water use of a eutrophic deep Mediterranean climate reservoir, dominated by cyanobacteria. With this goal, we defined the trophic state of Lake Cedrino (Sardinia, Italy) and studied its phytoplankton, paying particular attention to cyanobacteria, and to seasonal variation of phytoplankton in relation to seasonal variation of environmental variables. The water samples were collected monthly from September 2010 to August 2011 at differing depths from the surface of the water to the bottom at a station located in the deeper portion of the reservoir. Physical, chemical, nutrient, qualitative and quantitative analyses of phytoplankton were performed, and the trophic state was evaluated based on the Trophic State Index and the OECD model. Abundance of nutrients and phytoplankton (cell density, biomass and chlorophyll a) indicated a eutrophic condition of the reservoir. In summer, phytoplankton species composition was dominated by nuisance cyanobacteria, particularly Aphanizomenon flosaquae, thereby requiring management plans for harmful blooms. On the base of lake features, we propose management actions at different scales and levels to resolve eutrophication and to allow water use: from nutrient load reduction in the watershed (primarily from point-sources) to deep water aeration, to immediately face an attenuation of eutrophic effects. This study is the first explorative step in planning restoration of Lake Cedrino.