Limnology  book cover
1st Edition


ISBN 9781138072046
Published April 6, 2017 by CRC Press
888 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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  

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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.


"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