Distribution of resting cysts of the potentially toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium pseudogonyaulax in recently-deposited sediment within Bizerte Lagoon (Mediterranean coast, Tunisia)

Habiba Zmerli Triki, Ons Kéfi Daly-Yahia, Dhafer Malouche, Yosr Komiha, Alan Deidun, Mouldi Brahim, Mohamed Laabir
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2014 July 15, 84 (1): 172-81
This study investigated the spatial distribution of Alexandrium pseudogonyaulax resting cysts in recently-deposited sediment of Bizerte lagoon (South-Western Mediterranean, Tunisia). This lagoon is the subject of many anthropogenic impacts, such as holding important fishing and aquaculture activities. A. pseudogonyaulax has been shown to produce Goniodomin A, which is a biologically-active compound. We showed that this dinoflagellate produces two types of resting cysts, which could be distinguished by the presence or the absence of a paratabulate wall. The average cyst density across the whole lagoon was rather high, reaching 639 cysts g(-1) of dry sediment (DS). Cyst densities varied widely among the sampled stations, with the highest density of 1685 cyst g(-1)DS being recorded at station 51 near a mussel farm. With respect to sediment characteristics, the highest cyst densities were found within silty sediments with high water content values. The distribution of A. pseudongoyaulax cysts in Bizerte lagoon appears to be related to hydrodynamic factors.

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