Long-term dynamics of photosynthetic pigments in plankton of a large plains reservoir

  • N. M. Mineeva Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: chlorophyll; phytoplankton; algal divisions; fluorescent method; environmental factors; long-term observations.


Long-term observations are necessary to analyze and predict changes occurring in biological communities under global and regional climatic changes. The data on seasonal and long-term dynamics of chlorophyll in plankton of the Rybinsk Reservoir (Upper Volga, Russia) obtained in May – October 2009–2019 at six standard stations using the fluorescence method are presented. In the years with contrasting hydroclimatic conditions and water regime, the chlorophyll content varied from 1–3 to >100 μg/L. The significant variability of mean seasonal values (7.9 ± 0.5 μg/L in 2009 to 27.6 ± 1.7 μg/L in 2013 with variation coefficients of 52–134%) indicates the low resistance of the community. The total chlorophyll content is associated with the development of three main phytoplankton divisions i.e., diatoms, cyanoprokaryots, and green algae. The trophic status of the reservoir was characterized as mesotrophic in 2009 and 2017, eutrophic in 2011–2014, and moderately eutrophic in other years. In the long-term seasonal cycle of phytoplankton, there are five periods with stable temperature conditions and transparency, but variable chlorophyll content. A moderate positive relationship was found between the seasonal dynamics of chlorophyll and water temperature, but a moderate negative relationship with transparency. The priority factors regulating the long-term dynamics of chlorophyll include the NAO indices, Wolf numbers, temperature, and underwater light conditions, as well as the inflow volume and water level. Water regime limits the development of phytoplankton.


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