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Comprehensive approach to restoring urban recreational reservoirs. Part 2 – Use of zooplankton as indicators for the ecological quality assessment

Jurczak, Tomasz, Wojtal-Frankiewicz, Adrianna, Frankiewicz, Piotr, Kaczkowski, Zbigniew, Oleksińska, Zuzanna, Bednarek, Agnieszka, Zalewski, Maciej
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.653 pp. 1623-1640
Rotifera, ammonium, chlorophyll, ecosystems, eutrophication, monitoring, physicochemical properties, pollution, rivers, trophic levels, water quality, zooplankton, Poland
The presented research is part of the LIFE project (“EH-REK” LIFE08 ENV/PL/000517) on innovative restoration methods for small urban impoundments in the city of Łódź (Poland). The objective was to evaluate the usefulness of zooplankton as a biological quality element, when assessing the effectiveness of restoration efforts in three urban reservoirs and a one pond. The fifth unrestored pond was used as an example of the progressive eutrophication of an urban ecosystem. Studies were conducted during two periods: before (2010−2012) and after (2013–2016) restoration. A selection of zooplankton indices, including the rotifer trophic state index (TSIROT), was used. The influence of the supplying river resulted in the negligible responses of biological parameters to the restoration efforts in the Upper Arturówek (UA) reservoir, which is the first in cascade of reservoirs. However, clear symptoms of water quality improvements were observed in the other two reservoirs (the Middle Arturówek, MA; the Lower Arturówek, LA) and in the Bzura-17 (B17) pond. After restoration, the contribution of species indicative of high trophic levels decreased in these ecosystems. The TSIROT was strongly positively correlated with the trophic state index based on chlorophyll a, and both parameters significantly decreased in the MA, LA and B17. In the unrestored pond (B11), the successive increase in the concentrations of chemical parameters indicated progressing eutrophication. Interestingly, since 2013, the TSIROT values clearly decreased in B11, but the strong negative correlation between ammonium concentration and rotifer density indicated that the reduced TSIROT values didn't result from improvements in water quality; rather, they resulted from the increases in pollution and the associated harmful impacts on Rotifera. In conclusion, the TSIROT can be a useful tool for assessing the ecological quality of small urban ecosystems; however, the use of biological indices must be supported by also monitoring physicochemical parameters.