Bloom of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium P. rubescens: seasonal distribution and possible drivers of its proliferation in the Vrutci reservoir (Serbia)

Ana Blagojević Ponjavić, Dušan Kostić, Prvoslav Marjanović, Ivana Trbojević, Slađana Popović, Dragana Predojević, Gordana Subakov Simić

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Ana Blagojević Ponjavić (
DOI: 10.2478/ohs-2019-0029
Received: 14/12/2018
Accepted: 08/04/2019
Full text: here

Citation (APA style): Ponjavić, A., Kostić, D., Marjanović, P., et al. (2019). Bloom of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium P. rubescens: seasonal distribution and possible drivers of its proliferation in the Vrutci reservoir (Serbia). Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 48(4), pp. 316-327. Retrieved 10 Dec. 2019, from doi:10.2478/ohs-2019-0029


Planktothrix rubescens is a filamentous cyanobacterium with a worldwide distribution in lakes and reservoirs of varying size and morphology. The objective of this study was to identify the population dynamics and the major drivers of P. rubescens blooms. Samples for qualitative and quantitative analysis of phytoplankton were collected every month in 2014 and 2015 from stationary depths, while the main physical parameters were measured in situ along the water column. Samples for chemical analysis were collected below the surface, at mid-depth (metalimnion) and near the bottom. In the periods of thermal stratification, P. rubescens formed the maximum biomass in the metalimnion, however, its volume-weighted biomass reached the maximum value in the winter mixing period (4.40 mm<sup>3</sup> l<sup>−1</sup>). Changes in the P. rubescens population in the reservoir were related to changes in the measured environmental parameters. Significant physical, hydrological, meteorological and chemical parameters were distinguished based on the multivariate analysis. The variable associated with water-level fluctuations showed the highest positive correlation with P. rubescens biomass. We conclude that it is necessary to establish water quality monitoring and prevent excessive water-level fluctuations to ensure a high quality of water supplies from the reservoir.


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