Continuous (hourly) measurements of dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll (determined by fluorimetry) were made for an inter-linked lowland river and canal system. The dissolved oxygen data were used to estimate daily rates of re-aeration, photosynthesis and respiration, using a process-based analytical technique (the Delta method). In-situ fluorimeter measurements of chlorophyll were ground-truthed on a fortnightly basis using laboratory methanol extraction of chlorophyll and spectrophotometric analysis. Water samples were also analysed for algal species on a fortnightly basis. The river and canal exhibited very similar rates of photosynthesis and respiration during the summer of 2001, despite much higher chlorophyll concentrations and total algal counts, indicating that benthic algae and/or aquatic macrophytes may be making an important contribution to photosynthesis rates in the river. Suspended algal populations in the canal are dominated by planktonic species, whereas the river has a higher proportion of species which are predominantly benthic in habitat. The river exhibited higher rates of respiration, reflecting a higher organic loading from external (e.g. sewage effluent) sources.
Measuring in-stream productivity: the potential of continuous chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen monitoring for assessing the ecological status of surface waters
H.P. Jarvie, A.J. Love, R.J. Williams, C. Neal; Measuring in-stream productivity: the potential of continuous chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen monitoring for assessing the ecological status of surface waters. Water Sci Technol 1 November 2003; 48 (10): 191–198. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2003.0573
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