Potentially harmful microalgae in coastal waters of the Algiers area (Southern Mediterranean Sea)

Hassina ILLOUL, Mercedes MASO, José-Manuel FORTUNO, Lluïsa CROS, Alejandro MORALES-BLAKE & Rabéa SERIDJI

en Cryptogamie, Algologie 29 (3) - Pages 261-278

Published on 29 August 2008

A series of seasonal, monthly and short-term samplings was conducted in open and confined waters of the Algiers area in 2001-2002 and summer 2003 in order to detect potentially harmful microalgae species (HAB). A total of 14 potentially toxic and 18 bloom-forming species were recorded, of which some were found for the first time in Algerian coastal waters: the potential toxin producers Alexandrium minutum, Dinophysis sacculus (dinoflagellates) and Pseudo-nitzschia calliantha (diatom), as well as the bloom-forming species Lepidodinium chlorophorum (dinoflagellate), Cyclotella meneghiniana (diatom) and Holococcolithophora sphaeroidea (holococcolithophorid). The latter produced a very important bloom with considerable water discoulouration. The occurrence and duration of this event in the Algiers Harbour underline the importance of this enclosed structure as a growth area for HAB species. The transport of a H. sphaeroidea bloom toward off-shore waters by an anticyclonic eddy demonstrates the effect of Algerian current mesoscale instabilities on the spatial distribution of phytoplankton communities.

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