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International Journal on Algae
SJR: 0.219 SNIP: 0.261 CiteScore™: 0.24

ISSN Print: 1521-9429
ISSN Online: 1940-4328

International Journal on Algae

DOI: 10.1615/InterJAlgae.v11.i3.50
pages 246-259

Using algae to assess environmental conditions in river

Naser Jafari
Department of Biology, Basic Faculty, Mazandaran University, Iran


The performance of various algal indices to document improvements in water quality was carried out for twelve months, across three (3) sampling stations in the Babolrood River (Mazandaran, Iran). Palmer's pollution-tolerant algae indices and Nygaard's indices were calculated from, phytoplankton data. These indices suggest eutrophic conditions in Babolrood River. Nygaard's and Palmer's biotic indices have been used for the assessment of quality of the river. Phytoplankton encountered in the water body reflects the saprobic condition and, therefore, may be used as an indicator of water quality. The algal flora of polluted water bodies shows the dominance of blue green algae and diatoms like, Anabaena, Oscillatoria, Lyngbya, Microcystis, Navicula, Nitzschia, Synedra, and Gomphonema. Throughout the investigation many green algae like, Pandorina, Scenedesmus, Stigeoclonium, Ankistrodesmus, and Chlamydomonas, also occur abundantly and frequently. According to Palmer's index of pollution showed high and low organically polluted at different stations were examined. Algal pollution indices of Palmer based on genus and species were used in rating water samples for high organic pollution. The waters of Babolrood River, showed number of genera and species like Oscillatoria, Euglena, Scenedesmus, Chlamydomonas, Navicula, Nitzschia, Stigeoclonium, Ankistrodesmus and Schizomeris which have already been accepted as indicators of varying degrees of pollution. In the present study, from upstream to in downstream of river which receives large inputs of nutrients such as phosphate and nitrate as seen to be abundant by species like Euglena viridis, E. gracilis, Oscillatoria limosa, O. chlorine, O. tenuis, Stigeoclonium tenue, Scenedesmus quadricauda, Nitzschia acicularis, N. palea, etc. While the upstream stations are characterized by abundance of green algal flora like, Zygnema pectinatum, Z. qudrata, Spirogyra singularis, Mougeotia gracillima, Euastrum denticulatum, E. irregulare, Staurastrum megacanthum, etc. mostly grows in natural waters having comparatively less polluted. Nygaard's indices of different groups of algae i.e. Myxophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Bacillariophyta, Euglenophyta and compound were used to get meaningful evaluation of the extent of pollution of different stations of river. For determining the trophic state indices the number of genera in each group of algae was determined upto species level for each sampling stations of river. The ratio of these groups were calculated and used as biological index of water quality. The trophic state indices which had widest range and was very sensitive holds good index for assessing the eutrophication.