Abstract

Guadalupe Dam is a reservoir located into the Metropolitan area of Mexico City, which had been infested with water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) for more than 12 years. In 1993 a management program was conducted in the reservoir. The main activities included the use of aquatic herbicides and mechanical control. The goal of this study was to monitor the composition and fluctuation of the planktonic community during the chemical control program. Five sampling stations were selected. Six samplings were made during the period of herbicides applications (July to November 1993) and one sampling more, used as control, was performed four months after the last application (March 1994). Herbicides diquat and 2,4-D amine were used in the chemical control program. Variables measured included temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, chlorophyll a and numbers of phytoplankton, ciliates, rotifers, cladocerans and copepods. The reservoir is eutrophic, with high concentrations of chlorophyll a and low values of Secchi disc depth. Thermally, the dam seems to be warm monomictic. The infestation of aquatic weeds at the beginning of the program reached 95% of surface area. Two main effects of the herbicide application were observed. The first was the direct toxic effect of the chemicals on the growth and density of phytoplanktonic species, which lead to a reduction in zooplankton density related to food shortage. The second effect was indirect caused by the decomposing hyacinths which depleted dissolved oxygen concentrations. The oxygen deficit greatly affected the biological community. Although the chemical control program of Guadalupe Dam water hyacinth had a notable effect on the planktonic community, it recovered promptly. After the weed control program, the Guadalupe dam remained eutrophic. Although water hyacinth was eliminated, it was replaced by a large phytoplankton bloom.

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