The microphytobenthos diatoms of the shallow waters of the Black and Azov Sea ecosystems (1987–2017)

Larisa Ryabushko, Daria Balycheva, Anna Bondarenko

A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, RUSSIA


The paper summarizes original studies of species composition and quantitative data (abundance and biomass) of microphytobenthos diatoms of the different ecotopes of some protected areas of the Black and Azov ecosystems of the Crimean shallow waters (1987-2017). In total, 251 taxa were detected, which include benthic (194), benthoplanktonic (40) and planktonic (17) ones. 21 harmful species were identified, 18 of them causing the algal bloom. From all benthic and benthoplanktonic species, 75 taxa were in both seas, 221 taxa were found in the Black Sea and 92 ones were identificated in the Sea of Azov. These species belong to the three classes of Coscinodiscophyceae (18), Fragilariophyceae (35) and Bacillariophyceae (181) and represent 24 orders, 42 families and 71 genera. Marine (49.5% and brackish-marine (27.0%) species prevail, 64 taxa are indicators of organic pollution of water. The group of saprobiont species (64.0%), which is a typical for mesotrophic waters, i.e. those with moderate organic pollution, dominated. The phytogeographical elements of the diatom flora are identified as cosmopolitan (25.0%), boreal-tropical (25%), boreal (22%), arctical-boreal-tropical (19%), and arctical-boreal (9%) species. For the first time quantitative data of diatoms are presented. Comparative qualitative and quantitative data of benthic communities are discussed.

Keywords: Diatoms, microphytobenthos, protected areas, Black Sea, Azov Sea

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