Estuarine measurements for productivity and evaluation of system waste discharge effects.




Davis, E.M.
Eckenfelder, W.W.

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The overall productivity of two estuarian systems on the Texas coast, namely Taylor Bayou and Chocolate Bayou, was evaluated and the seasonal effects of chemical waste discharges on the ecology of the systems was estimated. The variation of productivity by season of the year over a two-year period was established by field analysis which included the measurement of gross photosynthesis and respiration and the species diversity index in each system. These results were compared to laboratory data using waste samples taken from each estuary. It was established that the community productivity and the effects of additions of chemical process wastes could be determined under laboratory conditions. Chlorophyll-A response varies with the population quite extensively and can increase due to Phytoplankton increases. The nutritive benefit is therefore quite rapid for some wastes. Even with increases of chlorophyll -A concentrations some photosynthetic supression may occur due to a concurrent toxic effect by the waste. Diversity indexes decreased most often due to the toxic effect of the wastes on the zooplankton. The dinoflagellates are more seriously effected, followed by the green algae, diatoms then bluegreens. Application of the principles involved herein are by no means limited to the estuaries of Texas coast, and may be applied to any aquatic ecosystem of the hemisphere in which it is located.


9 p.


respiration, estuaries, biological production, photosynthesis, species diversity