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Influence of the land use and land cover on the water quality: a method to evaluate the importance of riparian zones

Author(s): Raul Candido da Trindade Paixão Coelho | Iuri Buffon | Teresinha Guerra

Journal: Ambiente e Água : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science
ISSN 1980-993X

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 104;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: conservation unit | legally protected areas | watershed | National Forest of Canela

The riparian ecosystem constitutes an interface among the terrestrial and aquatic environments in a watershed. The human impact on drainage basins influences the organisms and the quality of the running water. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the effect of this impact, taking into account the different land use classes of the drainage basins and of the riparian areas in the quality of the water. Land use and land cover of the watershed were classified based on the interpretation of satellite imagery and field work in the riparian areas and the results were evaluated with an index adapted for such purpose. A sample of the of the water courses was collected monthly in the period of July of 2006 to June of 2007, and the quality was evaluated with an index composed using the parameters: dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, total dissolved solids and total suspended solids. A correlation coefficient of r² 0.64 was observed between land use of the riparian areas with the quality of the water. This value was higher than the correlation coefficient between the land use indices and the respective indices of water quality of the whole watershed (r2 = 0.23), pointing out the preponderant importance of the land use and land cover in the riparian areas in the quality of the water and showing a perspective of a new method for the analysis of the environmental condition.
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