Impact of Water Stress on the Planktonic Biodiversity of the Youssef Ben Tachafine Dam (Souss Massa, Morocco)
More details
Hide details
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Team, Faculty of Sciences of Agadir, Morocco
Fatima Boudarfa   

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Team, Faculty of Sciences of Agadir, Morocco
Drought is a large-scale disturbance that affects freshwater ecosystems worldwide. This recurrent phenomenon in Morocco, has experienced severe episodes during the last decade and has caused water stress in several aquatic ecosystems including the Youssef Ben Tachafine dam. Indeed, the volume of this reservoir has experienced its lowest historical hydrological level (12%) during the study period. To study the effects of water stress on water quality and planktonic community structure, water samples were collected from January 2019 to December 2020 at nine depths. The physicochemical parameters of the water were measured in parallel with the qualitative and quantitative study of the phytoplankton and zooplankton communities. The results obtained show a low planktonic diversity with only 43 phytoplanktonic species and 27 zooplanktonic species. The phytoplankton showed an almost permanent predominance of Chlorophyceae (85%), dominated by Closterium pronum, followed by Diatomophyceae (9.5%), dominated by Cyclotella ocellata. Rotifers represent the most abundant zooplanktonic group during the study period with two dominant species (Keratella tecta and Polyarthra vulgaris). Statistical analysis of the data from this study, using R software, revealed a negative correlation between Cladoceran species, Copepods and the diatom Cyclotella ocellata on the one hand and the decrease in water level, temperature and enrichment of the environment in nutrients and phytoplanktonic biomass on the other. This study shows that the effect of the extreme drought, which the Youssef Ben Tachafine dam has experienced, has altered the diversity and structure of planktonic communities, which threatens the sustainability of ecological services of this ecosystem.