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Retention of nutrients, suspended particulate matter and phytoplankton in a pondage associated with a run-of-the-river type hydroelectric power plant

Sow, Mohamadou Mamoudou and Majdi, Nabil and Muylaert, Koenraad and Tackx, Micky and Julien, Frédéric and Probst, Jean-Luc and Mialet, Benoît and Sutra, Carine and Probst, Anne and Thébault, Jean-Marc and Kenarlikdjian, Mathilde and Gérino, Magali Retention of nutrients, suspended particulate matter and phytoplankton in a pondage associated with a run-of-the-river type hydroelectric power plant. (2016) Ecohydrology, 9 (2). 229-237. ISSN 1936-0584

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eco.1626

Abstract

Reservoirs associated with run-of-the-river type hydroelectrical power plants (i.e. pondages) have short water residence times. For this reason, pondages are thought to have a limited impact on the fluxes of particles and solutes transported by rivers. The Malause reservoir (South West France) is such a pondage. Fed by both the Garonne and Tarn rivers, it has a water residence time of only a few days. Incoming and outgoing fluxes of nutrients, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and phytoplankton were measured weekly over the course of 1 year. Mass balance calculations showed that Malause pondage retained 24% of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) supplied by both rivers on an annual basis. SRP retention occurred mostly in spring–summer,pointing to biological uptake. In addition, the pondage was a sink for SPM and phytoplankton, retaining 39% of SPM and 14% of chlorophyll a supplied by both rivers on an annual basis. The retention efficiency appeared to be constrained by water temperature and residence time. The pondage was a source of phytoplankton during summer, when temperature and water residence time was high. The pondage was a sink for SPM when water residence time was low (<1 day). Our observations highlight the need to reconsider the impact of minor hydrological discontinuities on the functioning of the river continuum. The shallow depth of the pondage and the presence of dense stands of submerged macrophytes have probably favoured the retention of nutrients and the sedimentation of particles within the pondage.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to John Wiley & Sons editor. The definitive version is available at The original PDF of the article can be found at : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eco.1626
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Universität Bielefeld (GERMANY)
Other partners > Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - KU LEUVEN (BELGIUM)
Laboratory name:
Funders:
CPER (‘Contrat de Plan Etat–Région’) and EFRD (European Fund for Regional Development). - M. M. Sow was supported by a fellowship of the Mauritanian Government and EcoLab - N. Majdi was supported by a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation
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Deposited By: Jean-luc PROBST
Deposited On:18 Nov 2015 13:13

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