Temporal and spatial variability in concentrations of phosphorus species under thermal pollution conditions of a dam reservoir – the Rybnik Reservoir case study

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Abstract

The research objective was to study temporal and spatial relations between specific phosphorus species as well as to examine total phosphorus content in the bottom sediments of an anthropogenic, hypertrophic limnic ecosystem Rybnik Reservoir, functioning under thermal pollution conditions. The chemical extraction procedure for the speciation of bioavailable phosphorus forms was used. It was found that available algae phosphorus was the most dominant phosphorus species in both sediment layers (83%), while the lower share was readily desorbed phosphorus form (0.1%). The phosphorus species concentrations depended on the organic matter concentration. The differences between phosphorus species contents in the upper (5 cm) and lower (15–20 cm) sediment core layers were low. The biologically active sediment layer extended from the sediment surface to at least 20 cm depth of the sediment core. Distributions of the concentrations within the year and at specific sampling points resulted from the variability observed for particular points and transformation intensity. Furthermore in the following study, the reaction rate constant for the increase and decrease in the concentrations of the phosphorus species in sediments was given. It was indicated that the speed of the phosphorus species transformations was affected by the environment temperature. In the heated water discharge zone (water temp. 17–35°C) the concentrations of selected speciation phosphorus forms increased more than in the dam zone (5–25°C). It was also found that the abundance of the bottom sediments with phosphorus species was related to the oblong and transverse asymmetry of reservoir depth.

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