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Spatial distribution of dinoflagellate resting cysts in recent sediments of Kiel Bight, Germany (Baltic Sea)
Nehring, S. (1994). Spatial distribution of dinoflagellate resting cysts in recent sediments of Kiel Bight, Germany (Baltic Sea). Ophelia 39(2): 137-158
In: Ophelia: International Journal of Marine Biology. Ophelia Publications: Helsingør. ISSN 0078-5326, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Baltic Sea; Distribution; Dinophyceae [WoRMS]; ANE, Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel Bight [Marine Regions]; Marine

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Abstract
    The occurrence and distribution of dinoflagellate resting cysts in Recent sediments was investigated at 9 locations in Kiel Bight, Baltic Sea. The assemblage comprised 25 known cyst species and 4 unknown cyst types and is characterized by the dominance of Protoperidinium cf. divergens with a maximal abundance of 1695 living cysts/cm3 in the upper half centimeter. Cysts of the potentially toxic dinoflagellates of the Alexandrium excavatum/tamarense group and A. minutum were scarce. Micro-reticulate resting cysts of the toxic, unarmoured Gymnodinium catenatum, whose motile cell has not been recorded in Northern European waters, are reported for the first time from Recent sediments of the Baltic Sea. In the top 2-cm of sediment up to 1200 living dinoflagellate cysts/cm3 were found and the following trends were noted: Cysts were primarily associated with sediments dominated by mud, sandy stations exhibited the lowest cyst abundance. Highest cyst concentrations were found at the deepest stations and the small-scale vertical distribution of cysts usually exhibited maximum concentrations below the sediment surface. Empty cysts constituted 16.5-64.0% of total cyst abundance. These results suggest that the spatial distribution of several cyst species is controlled by water circulation patterns. The wide distribution of living and empty cysts of Peridinium dalei, Protoperidinium denticulatum and P. punctulatum and corresponding germination experiments suggest that the motile forms, which have not previously been recorded in the area, are common members of the plankton community in the western Baltic Sea. The cysts of Gonyaulax polyedra, P. dalei and Protoceratium reticulatum exhibited a reduced length of processes compared to individuals from marine habitats.

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