Phytoplankton variability in relation to some environmental factors in the eastern coast of Suez Gulf, Egypt

Mohamed Z Nassar, Nihal G Shams El-Din, Samiha M Gharib
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2015, 187 (10): 648
Water samples were seasonally collected from 12 stations of the eastern coast of Suez Gulf during autumn of 2012 and winter, spring, and summer of 2013 in order to investigate phytoplankton community structure in relation to some physicochemical parameters. The study area harbored a diversified phytoplankton community (138 species), belonging to 67 genera. Four algal groups were represented and classified as Bacillariophyceae (90 species), Dinophyceae (28 species), Cyanophyceae (16 species), and Chlorophyceae (4 species). The results indicated a relative high occurrence of some species namely.; Pleurotaenium trabecula of green algae; Chaetoceros lorenzianus, Proboscia alata var. gracillima, Pseudosolenia calcar-avis, and Pseudo-nitzschia pungens of diatoms; Trichodesmium erythraeum and Pseudoanabaena limnetica of cyanophytes. Most of other algal species were fairly distributed at the selected stations of the study area. The total abundance of phytoplankton was relatively low (average of 2989 unit/L) in the eastern coast of Suez Gulf, as compared its western coast and the northern part of the Red Sea. The diversity of phytoplankton species was relatively high (2.35-3.82 nats) with an annual average of 3.22 nats in the present study. The results concluded that most of eastern coast of Suez Gulf is still healthy, relatively unpolluted, and oligotrophic area, which is clearly achieved by the low values of dissolved phosphate (0.025-0.3 μM), nitrate (0.18-1.26 μM), and dissolved ammonium (0.81-5.36 μM). Even if the occurrence of potentially harmful algae species was low, the study area should be monitored continuously. The dissolved oxygen ranged between 1.77 and 8.41 mg/L and pH values between 7.6 and 8.41. The multiple regression analysis showed that the dissolved nitrate and pH values were the most effective factors that controlled the seasonal fluctuations of phytoplankton along the eastern coast of Suez Gulf during 2012-2013.

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