Identifying the relationships between trophic states and their driving factors in the Shihmen Reservoir, Taiwan

Research paper by Wen-wenLiuab, EnminZhaoab, Yi-MingKuoab, Cheng-ShinJangc

Indexed on: 09 Nov '17Published on: 01 May '17Published in: Limnologica


Eutrophication has become a crucial issue for water resource management in recent years. In addition, reservoir trophic states are varied with environmental and water quality variables. The objectives of this study were to apply the DFA model to examine which water quality variables significantly affect variations of trophic state index (TSI) factors (i.e. total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), and Secchi disk transparency (SD)) and use classification and regression tree (CART) to determine the trophic states of the Shinmen Reservoir based on the levels of TSI factors during spring 2001–winter 2009. Results showed that the optimal DFA model contained one common trend (the underlying processes influencing trophic states, which can be rainfall intensity or runoff volume) and 7 explanatory variables. Turbidity (TB), pH, and dissolved oxygen (DO) influence concentrations of TP, while ammonium nitrogen (NH3-N), organic nitrogen (O-N), and nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) control variations of Chl-a, and TB is related to SD. The CART model can specify trophic states only using two dominant driving factors, i.e. TP and Chl-a. The results of the CART illustrated that eutrophication could be occurred in the Shihmen Reservoir if TP is greater than 31.65 μg/L or if Chl-a is greater than 5.95 μg/L while TP concentration is less than 31.65 μg/L. Runoff nonpoint source pollution resulted from heavy storms may be the important factor affecting reservoir trophic states. Establishing vegetative filter strips along the riparian zone may able to effectively reduce this pollution in a reservoir. The integrated DFA and CART serves as good-fit relationships among trophic states, TSI factors, and water quality variables and provide control strategies for managing water quality in the Shihmen Reservoir.