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Depth distribution of benthic dinoflagellates in the Caribbean Sea

Abstract : Monitoring of benthic dinoflagellates is usually conducted between sub-surface and 5 m depth, where these organisms are supposed to be in highest abundances. However, only few studies have focused on the small-scale depth distribution of benthic dinoflagellates. In the present study, abundances of dinoflagellates were evaluated on an invasive macrophyte Halophila stipulacea in two coastal sites in Guadeloupe (Caribbean Sea) along a depth gradient from sub-surface to 3 m at Gosier and until 20 m at Rivière Sens during the tropical wet and dry seasons. Species of genus Ostreopsis and Prorocentrum were the most abundant. Depth did not influence total dinoflagellate abundance but several genera showed particular depth-distribution preferences. The highest abundances of Ostreopsis and Gambierdiscus species were estimated preferentially in surface waters, whereas Coolia spp. were found in the same proportions but in deeper waters. Halophila stipulacea biomass was positively correlated with Ostreopsis spp. abundance. Our study suggests that sampling of benthic dinoflagellates should be conducted at different water depths taking into account the presence of the macroalgal substrate as well. In the Caribbean area, special attention should be addressed to the presence of H. stipulacea which tends to homogenize the marine landscape and represents a substrate for hosting dinoflagellate growth.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 7, 2022 - 6:31:43 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 9, 2022 - 3:37:36 AM

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Aurélie Boisnoir, Pierre-Yves Pascal, Sébastien Cordonnier, Rodolophe Lemée. Depth distribution of benthic dinoflagellates in the Caribbean Sea. Journal of Sea Research, 2018, 135, pp.74-83. ⟨10.1016/j.seares.2018.02.001⟩. ⟨insu-03661731⟩

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