Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 51, Number 1, 2015
|Page(s)||11 - 21|
|Published online||09 January 2015|
Influence of landscape properties on stream water quality in agricultural catchments in Southeastern Brazil
1 Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” -UNESP, Campus de Rio Claro, Av. 24 A, 1515, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
2 Departamento de Ciências Florestais – Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, ESALQ, Av. Pádua Dias, 11, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
3 Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, CENA, Av. Centenário, 303, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 5 August 2014
Changes in land cover, especially the replacement of forest by agricultural activities affect the hydrological processes of river catchments, resulting in physical and chemical compositional changes of water draining from affected basins. The aim of this study was to evaluate landscape influences at different spatial scales (catchment and riparian) on the physical and chemical composition of stream water in 15 agricultural catchments, belonging to the Corumbataí basin (Brazil). We calculated the average slope (%), average elevation (m), soil classes (%), major land use classes (%), average distance from the forest cover in relation to the hydrographic network (m), largest patch index (%) at the catchment scale and riparian zone of drainage network scale within a 30 m buffer. Water samples were collected in two seasons (dry and rainy) to characterize physical and chemical properties: turbidity, suspended solids, total nitrogen, nitrate and total phosphorus. Our results showed higher concentration of nitrate in sugarcane fields and larger amount of suspended solids and turbidity in pasture areas. We concluded that degraded and highly fragmented forests may not be effectively contributing toward the protection of aquatic ecosystems.
Key words: Landscape ecology / land use / limnology / conservation of forests and aquatic ecosystems
© EDP Sciences, 2015
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