Aloysio da Silva Ferrão-Filho, Maria Carolina Soares, Maria Isabel de Almeida Rocha, Valéria de Freitas Magalhães, Sandra Maria Feliciano de Oliveira e Azevedo


revista vol 13 nº 2.indd

The Funil water reservoir, located in the Paraíba do Sul River Valley in the municipality of Resende (Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil), has become eutrophic during the last two decades and undergone recurrent blooms of cyanobacteria. This study presents temporal series of physical, chemical and biological data from the reservoir encompassing an overall period of four years (from June/02 to March/06). Monthly, measurements of conductivity, transparency, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and water samples for the analyses of nutrients (N and P), chlorophyll-a, phytoplankton and zooplankton composition and cyanotoxins in seston and in net plankton were performed. Toxicity tests with native and temperate cladocerans species were also performed. The results showed that the high input of N and P favored the persistent dominance of cyanobacteria. A temporal pattern was observed mainly related to changes in water temperature, characterizing two distinct periods: a warm-wet period with cyanobacterial bloom, and a cold-dry period with general reduced biomass. Cyanobacteria included potential hepatotoxins (microcystins) producers like Microcystis spp., and potential neurotoxins (saxitoxins) producers like Anabaena circinalis and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. In fact, elevated concentrations of microcystins and saxitoxins were found in the phytoplankton, and high levels of microcystins in the zooplankton, suggesting that these toxins may be transferred through the food chain. The toxicity tests revealed that the cyanobacterial blooms had toxic effects on cladocerans, causing death, reduction in the rate of population increase (r), and paralysis, in agreement with the mechanism of action of the cyanotoxins present.


Cyanobacteria, microcystins, saxitoxins, zooplankton, toxicity tests.


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