The characterisation and seasonal distribution of diatoms along Sfax northern and southern coasts (Gulf of Gabes, Eastern Mediterranean Sea) in relation to environmental conditions


1 Amira REKIK, 2 Habib AYADI, 3 Jannet ELLOUMI


A.REKIK,H.AYADI,J.ELLOUMI , The characterisation and seasonal distribution of diatoms along Sfax northern and southern coasts (Gulf of Gabes, Eastern Mediterranean Sea) in relation to environmental conditions(2017)SDRP Journal of Earth Sciences & Environmental Studies 2(3)


The spatial and seasonal variations of the diatoms communities were examined during four marine cruises conducted between years 2011 and 2012 on 12 stations at the north (restored) and south (not yet restored) coasts. Results revealed a striking difference between the two coasts regarding pH, with strong acidification of seawater in the south, likely caused by industrial activity. Suspended matter was higher in the north than in the south may be reasonably attributed to the recently added soil not yet fully stabilised. The low concentrations of orthophosphate as well as their low values relative to total phosphate show that restoration of the northern part of Sfax coast had positive effects on dissolved inorganic phosphate concentrations. Orthophosphate and total phosphate concentrations were still important in the southern coast. Inverted microscopy analysis of diatoms resolved 31 and 29 taxa in the north and south Sfax coasts respectively. Diatoms dominated community composition in the northern coast (65%), contrary to the southern coast, diatoms do not exceed 40%. Diatoms was characterised by the proliferation of pennate diatoms species (Amphiprora sp., Nitschia longissima, Nitschia sp., Nitschia ventricosa, Plagiotropis sp. ..) in northern part contrasting a progressive augment of centric diatoms species (Biddulphia sp., Leptocylindricus danicus, Leptocylindrus sp., Skeletonema costatum, Rhizosolenia stolforthii ..) in the southern part of the coast. The results confirm that restoration had positive effects on the abiotic variables and diatoms assemblage of the north coast. The case for restoration of the city’s south coast is also reinforced.


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