Limnology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By Jose Galizia Tundisi, Takako Matsumura Tundisi

CRC Press

888 pages

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Limnology provides an in-depth and current overview of the field of limnology. The result of a major tour de force by two renowned and experienced experts, this unique and richly illustrated reference presents a wealth of data on limnology history, water as a substrate, lakes’ origins and aquatic biota. Besides a general part, it gives special focus to neotropical limnology, prevalently applicable in countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Starting with the essentials, some definitions and a historical account, this volume then details the main interaction mechanisms with physical and chemical factors, diversity and geographical distribution. With regard to the major continental aquatic systems, it treats the dynamics, variability and characterization of lakes, reservoirs, flooded areas, saline lakes, estuaries and coastal lagoons. The impact of human activity on water resources and the need for the rehabilitation of watersheds, watershed ecosystems and estuaries are addressed subsequently. To illustrate theory, the final part includes research examples in limnology, ecology and environmental sciences in different geographical contexts, as well as ideas for new investigations.

This reference volume is intended for researchers and professionals working on inland waters, lakes and rivers within the fields of biology, ecology, environment, forestry, geochemistry, geophysics, and water management. It will also benefit students in the aforementioned areas and readers involved with limnology in related disciplines, such as earth sciences, environmental, water and geological engineering.


"An expansive and detailed account of limnology from a tropical viewpoint. Although it draws extensively upon the international literature, and is richly illustrated with examples, it gives special emphasis to tropical conditions. Here both Amazonia and the authors’ distinguished record and enterprises are prominent. It is primarily not a descriptive text, but a generalised classification of examples and a dynamic and functional approach. Issues of applied limnology – especially with reservoirs – are treated extensively, as well as past trends and future prospects in the science. These features, with the combination of length and exceptionally rich illustration, mark a unique contribution to the environmental literature, and especially apt for developing countries." Dr. Jack Talling, Freshwater Biological Association, Cumbria, UK

"This profusely illustrated volume will serve as an indispensable text book for the students of limnology not only in South and Central America but throughout the tropical world. Further, it is an invaluable reference work for researchers and professionals interested in inland waters, lakes and rivers irrespective of their disciplinary specialisation in biology, ecology, environment, geochemistry, geophysics, and water management. I heartily congratulate Prof. Tundisi and his coauthor wife, Prof. Matsumura-Tundisi for their painstaking efforts and valuable contribution to the cause of tropical limnology."

International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences 38 (4): 209-210, 2012

Table of Contents



Foreword by Dr. Jack Talling

Foreword by Dr. Joan Armengol Bachero

Foreword by Dr. Blanca Elena Jiménez Cisneros

Foreword by Dr. Odete Rocha

1 Limnology, defi nition and objective

1.1 Concepts and Definitions

1.2 Limnology: history and development

1.3 Tropical limnology

1.4 Limnology in the 21st century

1.5 Limnology in Brazil

1.6 Importance of limnology as a science

2 Water as a medium

2.1 Water’s physical and chemical properties

2.2 The water cycle and distribution of water on the planet

3 The origin of lakes

3.1 General features of lakes and drainage basins

3.2 Origin of lakes

3.3 Lake morphology and morphometry

3.4 Zonation in lakes

3.5 Artifi cial dams

3.6 Global distribution of lakes by origin

4 Physical processes and circulation in lakes

4.1 Penetration of solar energy in water

4.2 Heat balance in aquatics systems

4.3 Physical processes in lakes, reservoirs and rivers

4.4 Types of flow

4.5 Turbulence in surface waters, Reynolds Number and Richardson Number, and effects of density and stratification

4.6 Thermal stratification and vertical and horizontal circulation in inland aquatic ecosystems

4.7 Thermal stratifi cation and de-stratification in reservoirs

4.8 Diel variations of temperature

4.9 Stability of lakes and reservoirs

4.10 Importance of the process of thermal stratification and de-stratification in the diurnal and noctural temperature cycles of water

4.11 Ecological signifi cance of the metalimnion and importance of meromixis

4.12 Principal interactions of the processes of circulation, diffusion, chemical composition of water and of communities in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers

4.13 Circulation in lakes, reservoirs and rivers

4.14 Diffusion

4.15 Intrusion in lakes and reservoirs

5 The chemical composition of water

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Dissolved substances in water

5.3 Ionic composition in saline lakes and inland wetlands

5.4 The roles of cations and anions in biological systems

5.5 Dissolved gas: air-water interactions and the solubility of gases in water

5.6 The CO2 system

5.7 Seasonal and diurnal variations in O2 and CO2

5.8 Other gases dissolved in water

6 Organisms and communities in inland aquatic ecosystems and estuaries

6.1 Colonization of aquatic environments

6.2 Diversity and distribution of organisms: limiting and controlling factors

6.3 Communities in inland aquatic ecosystems

6.4 Dispersal, extinction, speciation and isolation of aquatic biota

6.5 Principal groups of organisms in aquatic communities

6.6 Spatial organization of aquatic communities

6.7 Aquatic biodiversity in the state of São Paulo

6.8 Fauna in groundwater

7 The dynamic ecology of aquatic plant populations and communities

7.1 Importance of population studies in aquatic systems

7.2 Main factors in biological processes

7.3 Population and community succession

7.4 General features of phytoplankton

7.5 Periphyton

7.6 Aquatic macrophytes

8 The dynamic ecology of aquatic animal populations and communities

8.1 Zooplankton

8.2 Benthic macroinvertebrates

8.3 Composition and wealth of plankton species and abundance of organisms in pelagic and littoral regions of lakes and reservoirs

8.4 Fish

8.5 Food chains and Food webs

8.6 Bioindicators: organisms as indicators of pollution in natural waters

9 The flow of energy in aquatic ecosystems

9.1 Definitions and characteristics

9.2 The photosynthetic activity of aquatic plants

9.3 Factors limiting and controlling phytoplanktonic productivity

9.4 Coefficients and rates

9.5 Photosynthetic efficiency

9.6 Model of primary production of phytoplankton

9.7 Methods for measuring the primary production of periphyton

9.8 Measuring the primary productivity of aquatic macrophytes and comparison with other photo-autotrophic components

9.9 Indirect measurements of in situ primary production

9.10 Measuring primary production in different ecosystems

9.11 Primary production in tropical regions and temperate regions

9.12 Secondary production

9.13 Bacteria and energy flow

9.14 Effi ciency of food webs and total organic production

9.15 Fishery production and its correlation with primary production

10 Biogeochemical cycles

10.1 The dynamics of biogeochemical cycles

10.2 Carbon cycle

10.3 The phosphorus cycle

10.4 The nitrogen cycle

10.5 The silica cycle

10.6 Other nutrients

10.7 The sediment-water interface and interstitial water

10.8 Vertical distribution of nutrients

10.9 Transport of sediments from terrestrial systems and biogeochemical cycles

10.10 Organisms and biochemical cycles

10.11 The concept of limiting nutrients

10.12 ‘New’ and ‘regenerated’ production

10.13 Greenhouse gas and biogeochemical cycles

11 Lakes as ecosystems

11.1 The lacustrine system as a unit

11.2 Ecological structures, principal processes and interactions

11.3 Principles of theoretical ecology applied to the interactions of drainage basin, lakes, and reservoirs

11.4 Forcing functions as external factors in aquatic ecosystems

11.5 The interactions of the littoral zone in lakes and the limnetic zone

11.6 Lakes, reservoirs and rivers as dynamic systems: responses to external forcing functions and their impacts

11.7 Palaeolimnology

11.8 Transport of dissolved particulate organic matter and vertical and horizontal circulation in aquatic ecosystems

12 Man-made reservoirs

12.1 General features and positive and negative impact

12.2 Technical aspects of constructing reservoirs

12.3 Important variables in the hydrology and functioning of reservoirs

12.4 Interactions of reservoirs and drainage basins – morphometry of dams

12.5 Succession and evolution in reservoirs during fi lling

12.6 Reservoir systems

12.7 Principal operating processes and mechanisms in reservoirs

12.8 The biochemical cycles and chemical composition of reservoir water

12.9 Pulses in reservoirs

12.10 Communities in reservoirs: the aquatic biota, its organization and functions in reservoirs

12.11 Biomass and fi shery production in reservoirs

12.12 ‘Evolution’ and aging of the reservoir

12.13 Multiple uses and management of reservoirs

12.14 Urban reservoirs

12.15 Research on reservoirs

13 Rivers

13.1 Rivers as ecosystems

13.2 Transport processes

13.3 Longitudinal profi le and classifi cation of the drainage network

13.4 Fluctuations in levels and discharge cycles

13.5 Chemical composition of the water and the biogeochemical cycles

13.6 Classifi cation and zonation

13.7 Intermittent rivers and streams

13.8 Primary production

13.9 Energy flow 4

13.10 The food chain

13.11 Large rivers

13.12 Fish communities in lotic systems

13.13 Drift

13.14 Impact of human activities

13.15 Restoration of rivers

14 Estuaries and coastal lagoons

14.1 General features

14.2 Sediment in estuaries

14.3 Chemical composition and processes in brackish waters

14.4 Communities in estuaries

14.5 Distribution of organisms in estuaries and tolerance of salinity

14.6 Maintenance of stocks of planktonic and benthic populations in estuaries

14.7 Primary productivity in estuaries

14.8 The food web in estuaries

14.9 Detritus in estuaries

14.10 The Cananéia lagoon region

14.11 Coastal lagoons

14.12 Patos Lagoon

14.13 The Plata Estuary (Argentina/Uruguay)

14.14 Importance of estuaries and coastal lagoons

14.15 Eutrophication and other impacts in estuaries

14.16 Management of estuaries and coastal lagoons

15 Wetlands, temporary waters and saline lakes

15.1 Wetlands

15.2 Temporary waters

15.3 Saline lakes (athalassic waters)

16 Regional limnology in Central and South America

16.1 Comparative regional limnology and its role in theoretical and applied limnology

16.2 Regional limnology in South and Central America

16.3 Inland ecosystems in South America

17 Regional limnology in Africa and in temperate regions

17.1 Lakes and reservoirs on the African continent

17.2 Limnological studies on lakes in England

17.3 Other studies in Europe

17.4 The Great Lakes of North America

17.5 Other temperate-region lakes in the Northern Hemisphere

17.6 Lakes in Japan

17.7 Ancient lakes

18 Impacts on aquatic ecosystems

18.1 Key impacts and their consequences

18.2 Eutrophication of inland waters: consequences and quantification

18.3 Introduction of exotic species in lakes, reservoirs and rivers

18.4 Toxic substances

18.5 Water and human health

18.6 Global changes and the impact on water resources

19 Planning and managing of water resources

19.1 Limnology: planning and management of water resources

19.2 Limnology and health aspects

19.3 Limnology and regional planning

19.4 Conceptual advances in water resource management

19.5 Recovery techniques, management and conservation of water resources

19.6 Integrated management: consequences and perspectives

19.7 Ecological models and their use in management

20 Study approaches and methods: the present and future of limnology

20.1 The complexity of inland aquatic ecosystems

20.2 Descriptive approach or natural history

20.3 Experimental approach

20.4 Modeling and ecological mathematics

20.5 Predictive limnology

20.6 Mass balance

20.7 Technologies of monitoring lakes, rivers and reservoirs

20.8 Monitoring and predictive limnology

20.9 Interpretation of results in limnology

20.10 Human resource training in limnology

20.11 Limnology: theory and practice

20.12 The future of limnology: search for basic application

20.13 Future developments

20.14 Tools and technology

Annex 1 Fish species in the São Francisco river

Annex 2 Species of catfi sh in Amazonia

Annex 3 Species of the upper Paraná classifi ed by reproductive strategies

Annex 4 Taxonomic groups of aquatic invertebrates found in Brazil and the state of São Paulo

Annex 5

Annex 6 Processes of sampling and programme for water quality management in reservoirs

Appendix 1 Conversion table for units

Appendix 2 Time scale of geological periods


Watershed and water body index

General index

Color plates

About the Authors

Dr. Jose Galizia Tundisi obtained his PhD (Estuaries Ecology, 1969) at the University of São Paulo/University of Southampton and his DSc (Ecology, 1977) at the University of São Paulo. He is President of the International Institute of Ecology in São Carlos, Brazil. He was previously a Full Professor of Biological Sciences, Federal University of São Carlos, 1972-84; Full Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of São Paulo, 1984-94; and President, Brazilian of the National Research Council, 1995-99. His awards include the Gold Medal “Augusto Ruschi”, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, 1986; the Moinho Santista Prize in Ecology, 1992; the Highest Brazilian Award for scientific achievement; the Boutros Ghali Prize for Environment and Development, UN, 1995; and the Commendador, Brazilian Government. He is a Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the São Paulo Academy of Sciences, and the Ecology Institute, “Excellence in Biology”, in Germany. Dr. Tundisi is the founder and director of the International Institute of Ecology in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Dr. Takako Matsumura Tundisi graduated in Natural History and received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Zoology) from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She was a lecturer and researcher in Aquatic Ecology at the Federal University of São Carlos for over two decades. Today, she is a director of the International Institute of Ecology (IIE) and of the International Association of Ecology and Environmental Management (IIEGA) in Brazil, both research and consulting organizations that have developed numerous research projects in water resources management and water quality through mathematical modeling.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply