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Annual cycle and diversity of species and infraspecific taxa of Ceratium (Dinophyceae) in the Ligurian Sea, Northwest Mediterranean
Tunin-Ley, A.; Labat, J.-P.; Gasparini, S.; Mousseau, L.; Lemée, R. (2007). Annual cycle and diversity of species and infraspecific taxa of Ceratium (Dinophyceae) in the Ligurian Sea, Northwest Mediterranean. J. Phycol. 43(6): 1149-1163. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1529-8817.2007.00417.x
In: Journal of Phycology. Blackwell Science: New York. ISSN 0022-3646, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Annual; Biodiversity; Predation; Variability; Ceratium Schrank, 1793 [WoRMS]; Dinoflagellata [WoRMS]; MED, Mediterranean [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Tunin-Ley, A.
  • Labat, J.-P.
  • Gasparini, S., more
  • Mousseau, L.
  • Lemée, R.

Abstract
    We examined the well-documented and species-rich dinoflagellate genus Ceratium Schrank in the northwest Mediterranean Sea as a possible model for marine phytoplankton diversity and as a biological indicator of global climate change. First, we investigated the influence of counting effort; we then documented temporal changes in Ceratium specific and infraspecific taxa over 2 years (2002 and 2003) in the Villefranche Bay based on a monthly net sampling. Finally, we tried to identify factors associated with shifts in biodiversity. The calculation of taxonomic diversity, regularity, and richness were highly dependent on counting effort. We determined that a minimal sample volume of ~70 L was needed to obtain a good estimation of species richness. The annual cycle was characterized by a seasonal trend of high winter species richness followed by low spring biodiversity. Infraspecific variability not only appeared to depend on water temperature but also seemed to be influenced by bottom-up control and was strongly affected by top-down control. Thus, the occurrence of high concentrations of salps (Thalia democratica) and copepods larger than 2 mm (Calanus helgolandicus) coincided with a drastic decrease of Ceratium abundance and diversity during spring 2003. Ceratium is sensitive to both abiotic and biotic factors and could prove to be a good candidate as a biological indicator of global change.

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