Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Analysis of within- and between-day chlorophyll-a dynamics in Mantua Superior Lake, with a continuous spectroradiometric measurement

M. Bresciani A B F , M. Rossini C , G. Morabito D , E. Matta A , M. Pinardi B , S. Cogliati C , T. Julitta C , R. Colombo C , F. Braga E and C. Giardino A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A CNR–IREA, Optical Remote Sensing Group, Via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy.

B University of Parma, Environmental Science Department, Viale G.P. Usberti 11/A, 43100 Parma, Italy.

C University of Milano-Bicocca, Remote Sensing of Environmental Dynamics Lab. DISAT, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milano, Italy.

D CNR–ISE, Institute for the Ecosystems Study, L.go Tonolli 50-52, 28922, Verbania-Pallanza, Italy.

E CNR–ISMAR, Institute of Marine Science, Arsenale Tesa 104, Castello 2737/F, 30122 Venezia, Italy.

F Corresponding author. Email: bresciani.m@irea.cnr.it

Marine and Freshwater Research 64(4) 303-316 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF12229
Submitted: 23 August 2012  Accepted: 23 January 2013   Published: 10 April 2013

Abstract

Eutrophic lakes display unpredictable patterns of phytoplankton growth, distribution, vertical and horizontal migration, likely depending on environmental conditions. Monitoring chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration provides reliable information on the dynamics of primary producers if monitoring is conducted frequently. We present a practical approach that allows continuous monitoring of Chl-a concentration by using a radiometric system that measures optical spectral properties of water. We tested this method in a shallow, nutrient-rich lake in northern Italy, the Mantua Superior Lake, where the radiometric system collected data all throughout the day (i.e. every 5 min) for ~30 days. Here, specifically developed algorithms were used to convert water reflectance to Chl-a concentration. The best performing algorithm (R2 = 0.863) was applied to a larger dataset collected in September 2011. We characterised intra- and inter-daily Chl-a concentration dynamics and observed a high variability; during a single day, Chl-a concentration varied from 20 to 130 mg m–3. Values of Chl-a concentration were correlated with meteo-climatic parameters, showing that solar radiance and wind speed are key factors regulating the daily phytoplankton growth and dynamics. Such patterns are usually determined by vertical migration of different phytoplankton species within the water column, as well as by metabolic adaptations to changes in light conditions.

Additional keywords: inland water systems, meteorological factors, optical properties, phytoplankton dynamics, water quality.


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