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Spatio-temporal dynamics and biotic substrate preferences of benthic dinoflagellates in the Lesser Antilles, Caribbean sea

Aurélie Boisnoir, Pierre-Yves Pascal, Sébastien Cordonnier, Rodolphe Lemée
Harmful Algae 2019, 81: 18-29
Epibenthic dinoflagellates were monitored monthly over an 18 month period in Guadeloupe and Martinique (Lesser Antilles, Caribbean Sea). These islands are located in the second most affected ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) region of the world. Guadeloupe presented five times more total epibenthic dinoflagellates and two times less abundant Gambierdiscus spp. compared to Martinique, although the area of frequent CFP outbreaks covers Guadeloupe and not Martinique. Results did not show any clear seasonal variations of benthic dinoflagellates abundances. Temperature and salinity were not driving parameters in the evolution of total benthic dinoflagellate abundances. Preferential associations were found between macrophyte species and epibenthic dinoflagellates. The Phaeophyceae Dictyota spp. hosted the highest abundances of total epibenthic dinoflagellates, composed mainly of Ostrepsis and Prorocentrum genera. The seagrass Halophila stipulacea hosted the highest abundances of Gambierdiscus spp. and Sinophysis spp. whilst the highest abundance of Coolia was determined on Galaxaura spp. The pelagic Sargassum spp. hosted the lowest abundances of benthic dinoflagellates including the genus Gambierdiscus.


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