Changes in zooplankton abundance and community structure in the cooling channel system of the Konin and Pątnów power plants      [REVIEW PAPER]

  • Jacek Tunowski
Keywords: heated lakes, zooplankton loss, Rotifera, Cladocera, Copepoda


The aim of the research was to analyze changes in crustacean and rotifer plankton communities in channel systems cooling system for the Konin and Pątnów power plants (central Poland). Only small amounts of zooplankton (Rotifera and Crustacea biomass) were detected in the channel systems investigated in this study. In intake channels, the total zooplankton population ranged from 100 to 200 indiv. dm-3 and biomass normally did not exceed 1 mg dm-3. The zooplankton population did not exhibit unambiguous changes immediately after moving across the stream condensers zone (thermal shock) or immediately after the turbines of the pumping station on one of the channels (mechanical and pressure stress). Decreases in the amount of biomass, as much as 96%, were detected several kilometers beyond the heated water release sites. Greater zooplankton mortality rates were recorded in the summer when the temperature of released water exceeded 30°C along with a larger rise in temperature (5-6°C). The loss of plankton in the Konin power plant (KPP) system of cooling channels was greater than that in the Pątnów power plant (PPP) system of cooling channels. The large decrease in the amount of zooplankton biomass in the channel beyond the pumping station suggests that mechanical and pressure stress in the turbines, which the Rotifera and Crustacea were subjected to, was the principal reason for the high rate of zooplankton mortality.


J. Tunowski [+]
Department of Hydrobiology
The Stanisław Sakowicz Inland Fisheries Institute in Olsztyn
Oczapowskiego 10, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
Tel./Fax. +48 89 5241073, +48 89 5240505;