Metals and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of surface waters in two adjacent watersheds in the eastern Amazon

Juliana Feitosa Felizzola, Anthony D. Cak, Ricardo de Oliveira Figueiredo, Marcelo de Oliveira Lima



Land-use intensification in the "Zona Bragantina" region, an area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon, has accelerated landscape changes from primary forest to a mixture of different land uses: native forest (riparian vegetation), secondary forest, pasture, annual cropland, perennial cropland, bare soil and fallow vegetation, with negative consequences for the stability and equilibrium of river systems. This study examined the temporal and spatial variation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and metal concentrations in stream water of the Cumaru (ICU) and São João (ISJ) watersheds from May 2014 to April 2015, to understand the chemical changes in forests and agro-ecosystems during one year. In both watersheds, higher concentrations of dissolved metals (aluminum, sodium, barium, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc) and DOC were measured in the rainy season, with considerable variability due to precipitation events. Furthermore, strong spatial variation was observed, with lower conductivity, higher pH, and higher concentrations of DOC and dissolved metals in the downstream reaches, especially for DOC in a small reservoir below a dam in ISJ. Significant human intervention was located in these downstream areas, including nearby agriculture and pasture, and use of stream resources for domestic activity. Sandy soil in these areas likely facilitated leachate processes, mainly in deforested areas, supporting the increased movement of metals from the land to the stream.


amazon basin, stream, water quality.


Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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