Satta, Cecilia Teodora and Anglès, Silvia and Garcés, Esther and Sechi, Nicola and Pulina, Silvia and Padedda, Bachisio Mario and Stacca, Daniela and Lugliè, Antonella Gesuina Laura (2014) Dinoflagellate cyst assemblages in surface sediments from three Shallow Mediterranean Lagoons (Sardinia, North Western Mediterranean Sea). Estuaries and coasts, Vol. 37 (3), p. 646-663. ISSN 1559-2723. eISSN 1559-2731. Article.
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The present study identified and quantified dinoflagellate cysts in surface sediments from three Mediterranean lagoons. Sediment samples were recovered from 11 stations in May 2009 at Cabras Lagoon, eight stations in May 2010 at Corru S'Ittiri Lagoon, and five stations in May 2011 at Santa Giusta Lagoon. Fifty-three dinoflagellate cyst morphotypes were identified. Sixteen species are first reports for the lagoons, and two for the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, a new Scrippsiella species was discovered in Cabras. Seven harmful algal species were identified, primarily belonging to the potentially toxic genus Alexandrium. Total cyst abundance, number of morphotypes, and assemblages varied among lagoons, and each lagoon showed a distinct morphotype composition. A degree of heterogeneity was also detected within lagoon. Cabras and Santa Giusta cyst assemblages were characterised by morphotypes belonging to the autotrophic genus Scrippsiella, whereas Corru S'Ittiri assemblages showed dominance of heterotrophic morphotypes, including Protoperidinium cf tricingulatum. Differentiation among lagoons was also evident according to environmental conditions. Salinity proved to be a fundamental variable in determining total cyst abundance, morphotype number, and composition. This study was among the first to examine dinoflagellate cyst composition in coastal lagoons, especially from the Mediterranean region, and contributed data that increased our knowledge of cyst-producing dinoflagellates in these environments.
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