The diversity of centric diatoms is documented for the transitional zone of the lower part of the Southern Bug River (Ukraine) just before entering the Dnipro-Bug Estuary and compared to earlier results from the upstream sampling sites of the same river system. Benthic samples of the following sites were investigated: north of Mykolaiv City (approximately 5 km), in Mykolaiv City (near Varvarivskyi Bridge), and 5 km south of the city. Twenty-four centric diatom taxa belonging to 11 genera were identified, analysed, and documented by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM). Among them, Aulacoseira nivalis is the first report for Ukraine, A. islandica and is the first confirmed record for the studied area since the 1930s. The maximum number of centric diatom taxa found in one station was 21, the minimum 10. Melosira subglobosa was the most common (documented in 57-80% of sites with centric diatoms) and abundant species 7.3-15.7% in relative abundance to all diatom taxa. The discovered diversity of taxa and its comparison with previous results is discussed with regard to the relevance of estuary zones in the research of diatoms.
Keywords: Centric diatoms; Dnipro-Bug Estuary; Southern Bug River; diversity; ecology; phytobenthos; transitional zone.
Olena P. Bilous, Sergey I. Genkal, Jonas Zimmermann, Wolf-Henning Kusber, Regine Jahn.