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Richness and distribution of unicellular eukaryotes in three streams under anthropic influence, Ivinhema City, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil

Unicellular eukaryotes are abundant in most aquatic environments and contribute in several ways to ecosystems. For example, they act as producers, as primary and secondary consumers, and they aid in the decrease and control of bacteria communities and in nutrient cycling. The aim of this study was to describe the abundance and distribution of unicellular eukaryotes in Ponta Porã stream and in its main tributary streams, as well as possible relationships between their presence and water quality on the sampled sites. We selected six sites (locals), considering headwaters (L1 and L2), downstreams (L5 and L6) and the main pollution source (L3). We used similarity and canonical correspondence analysis to evaluate relationships between microorganism abundance and distribution to abiotic variables (dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity and conductivity). Abundance was related to the increase of organic and inorganic sediment due to decomposition and erosion. We had a variation on the genera distribution, with slight predominance of ciliates, and some genera used as eutrophicated environmental indicators. The presence of Vorticella, Saprodinium, Paramecium, Metopus and Chilodonella suggests an environment ranging from polysaprobic to olygosaprobic. Urostyla, that has been used as water quality indicators, the flagellate Cercomonas, that has broad dispersion in aquatic environments, Didinium, a ciliate predator widely dispersed, Synura, a chrysophyte sensitive to basic pH and high temperatures, and Amoeba, frequently found in clean or in depuration process waters, may suggest a recuperating environment, since they are also found on lesser impacted sites.

Brazilian Midwest; ciliates; erosion; eutrophication; environmental impacts

Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais em Bacias Hidrográficas Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais em Bacias Hidrográficas (IPABHi), Estrada Mun. Dr. José Luis Cembranelli, 5000, Taubaté, SP, Brasil, CEP 12081-010 - Taubaté - SP - Brazil