Seasonality in the distribution of dinoflagellates with special reference to harmful algal species in tropical coastal environment, Bay of Bengal

Environ Monit Assess. 2014 Oct;186(10):6627-44. doi: 10.1007/s10661-014-3878-3. Epub 2014 Jul 11.


A study was carried out in the coastal waters of Kalpakkam, southeast coast of India, to find out the seasonal variation in dinoflagellate community structure. Samples were collected for a period of 4 years during 2006-2010. During the study 69 species of dinoflagellates were encountered among which Ceratium furca and Prorocentrum micans were most common during all the seasons. Genus Ceratium was found to be the most diverse one with 23 species which was followed by genus Protoperidinium with 16 species. Of 69 species, 27 species were considered as dominant based on their abundance during pre-monsoon (PRM), monsoon (MON) and post-monsoon (POM) periods. Relatively high density and diversity of dinoflagellates were encountered during the PRM period as compared to the MON and POM periods. Abundance pattern of dinoflagellates for three seasons showed the following trend: PRM > POM > MON. Salinity showed a positive correlation with dinoflagellate community showing its importance in dinoflagellate growth and sustenance. Ammonia and phosphate developed negative correlation with dinoflagellate density indicating the utilization of these nutrients by the dinoflagellate community. The presence of three dinoflagellate associations, broadly representing the three seasons experienced at this location, was evident from the cluster analysis. The study revealed presence of 19 relatively abundant toxic/red tide forming dinoflagellate species in the coastal waters of Kalpakkam.

MeSH terms

  • Bays / chemistry*
  • Dinoflagellida / classification
  • Dinoflagellida / growth & development*
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Harmful Algal Bloom*
  • India
  • Salinity
  • Seasons
  • Seawater / chemistry