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Physico-chemical functioning and development of phytoplankton in Karaoun reservoir (Lebanon) : application of a hydrodynamic-ecological model

Abstract : AbstractMany reservoirs throughout the world suffer from eutrophication. This worldwide problem increases phytoplankton biomass in reservoirs and impairs their uses. Understanding the mechanisms and processes that control cyanobacterial blooms are of great concern. Ecosystem models enable us to simulate, analyze and understand ecological processes in lakes and reservoirs. Except for Lake Kinneret, the phytoplankton community and ecological model application are poorly documented in the Middle East. Karaoun Reservoir, the largest water body in Lebanon, was built for irrigation and hydropower production. There is a great interest in the water quality of this reservoir as it will be used to supply the capital Beirut with drinking water. The objectives of this thesis are to: 1) design and implement a physico-chemical and reinforced biological monitoring in Karaoun reservoir, 2) understand the physico-chemical determinants of cyanobacterial blooms in Karaoun reservoir, and 3) calibrate a deterministic model that can be used to predict cyanobacteria biomass. Sampling campaigns were conducted semi-monthly between May 2012 and August 2013 to assess the trophic state and the biodiversity and dynamics of its phytoplankton community in response to changes in environmental conditions. These campaign measurements were then used to calibrate (summer and autumn 2012) and validate (spring and summer 2013) a one dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological model on Karaoun Reservoir. Our results show that : Karaoun Reservoir strongly stratifies between May and August was found eutrophic with low biodiversity, only 30 phytoplankton species in 2012-2013 study period. Thermal stratification established in spring reduced the growth of diatoms and resulted in their replacement by mobile green algae species during high nutrients availability and water temperatures lower than 22 °C. Water temperature higher than 25 °C favours cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa that displaces Aphanizomenon ovalisporum in summer. Dinoflagellate Ceratium hirundinella dominated in mixed conditions, at low light intensity in late autumn at 19 °C. Unlike the high temperatures, above 26 °C, which is associated with blooms of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum in Lakes Kinneret (Israel), Lisimachia and Trichonis (Greece) and Arcos Reservoir (Spain), Aphanizomenon ovalisporum in Karaoun Reservoir bloomed in October 2012 when water temperature was 22°C and the reservoir was weakly stratified. The field growth conditions of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum in this study revealed that it can bloom at subsurface water temperature 22 °C increasing the risk of its development and expansion in European lakes. Cylindrospermopsin, a fatal toxin, was detected in almost all samples even when Aphanizomenon ovalisporum was not detected. It reached a concentration of 1.7 µg/L, higher than the drinking water guideline value of 1 µg/L of the World Health Organization. The toxin vertical profiles suggest its possible degradation or sedimentation resulting in its disappearance from water column. A simple configuration of the one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological model Dyresm-Caedym successfully simulated the growth and succession of the cyanobacteria Aphanizomenon ovalisporum and Microcystis aeruginosa. The model showed a good performance in simulating the water level (RMSE < 1 m, annual variation of 25 m), water temperature profiles (RMSE < 1.1 °C, range 13-28 °C) and cyanobacteria biomass (RMSE < 57 µg L-1 equivalent chlorophyll a, range 0-206 µg L-1).On the local scale, this thesis provides important background data for the Lebanese water management authorities who aim to use this reservoir for drinking water production. It also increases the understanding of processes and mechanisms that control cyanobacterial blooms. The application of simple model configurations with few major processes can be transposed on other eutrophic lakes and reservoirs
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  • HAL Id : tel-01127361, version 1

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Ali Fadel. Physico-chemical functioning and development of phytoplankton in Karaoun reservoir (Lebanon) : application of a hydrodynamic-ecological model. Hydrology. Université Paris-Est, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014PEST1064⟩. ⟨tel-01127361⟩

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