The study identified limnological patterns in the Paranapanema River reservoir cascade, one of the main tributaries of the high Paraná River, La Plata Basin, southeast Brazil. Samplings were carried out in eight reservoirs from a total of 37 sites. We analyzed the water transparency, depth, and vertical profiles of temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, total solids, suspended solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chlorophyll a, and thermotolerant coliforms. Additionally, the trophic state index for tropical/subtropical reservoirs, the water retention time and morphometric characteristics of each reservoir were calculated. Longitudinal compartmentalization is conspicuous in storage reservoirs, whereas the magnitude of temporal changes is higher in run-of-river systems. The lateral component of spatial heterogeneity was also very important for some reservoirs, determined basically by the entrance of tributary rivers. On the vertical dimension, summer thermal stratification, followed by oxygen decrease in bottom layers, in the central channel and lacustrine zones of deeper and larger reservoirs was observed. The ultraoligotrophic condition prevailed, despite signals of intensive land use for agriculture—recurrent high phosphorus values. The acquired experience provided a baseline for a permanent limnological and water quality program, which subsidizes management actions in the basin.
Part of the book: Limnology