Distribution and ecology of two interesting diatom species Navicula flandriae Van de Vijver et Mertens and Planothidium nanum Bąk, Kryk et Halabowski in rivers of Southern Poland and their spring areas

Dariusz Halabowski, Małgorzata Bąk, Iga Lewin

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Dariusz Halabowski (dariusz.halabowski@us.edu.pl)
DOI: 10.1515/ohs-2021-0013
Received: 21/09/2020
Accepted: 15/12/2020
Full text: here

Citation (APA style): Halabowski,D.,Bąk,M. & Lewin,I.(2021).Distribution and ecology of two interesting diatom species Navicula flandriae Van de Vijver et Mertens and Planothidium nanum Bąk, Kryk et Halabowski in rivers of Southern Poland and their spring areas. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies,50(2) 137-149. https://doi.org/10.2478/oandhs-2021-0013


In this paper, we report new records of rare diatoms that have recently been found in Southern Poland. Planothidium nanum was found only in the upper reaches of the Centuria River, which is not exposed to human influence, while Navicula flandriae was found in two rivers (the Bolina and the Mleczna) affected by salt mine water from hard coal mines. The impact of anthropogenic salinity on diatom communities is as yet poorly documented. Therefore, we conducted a survey on this phenomenon. We surveyed seven sampling sites for diatom assemblages and habitat characteristics, including three sampling sites impacted by mine water. Navicula flandriae was recorded at both sampling sites affected by salt mine water and in two other rivers (the Centuria and the Mitręga), indicating its wide preference for salinity. We confirmed the occurrence of P. nanum at the same site where this species was found and described in our previous paper. In addition, we recorded the occurrence of this species at two other sites in habitats with similar characteristics (lower reaches of the Centuria and Wiercica rivers). Our results indicate a more common occurrence of N. flandriae and P. nanum, which means that further monitoring of diatoms is necessary.


Considering the current occurrence of Navicula flandriae and Planothidium nanum, it can be expected that new sites of these species will be found in the future. Protected areas where P. nanum has been recorded play an important role in the conservation of this species. In addition, a new type of protected area in the form of a nature reserve should be considered in order to protect the entire Centuria River or at least those parts of the river that are still close to natural conditions. However, the occurrence of N. flandriae both in the highly polluted rivers and in the rivers with minimal human impact indicates a widespread distribution of this species in the flowing waters of Southern Poland. Our results reveal a paucity of research on diatoms in flowing waters, especially in Southern Poland, and we therefore call for its intensification in these types of habitats. In addition, continuous monitoring of rare diatom species and their habitats is necessary.


This research was partially supported by the University of Silesia in Katowice (Young Scientists 2018 grant and Fast Track Grants). The authors are grateful to Dr. Łukasz Peszek for his assistance with SEM micrographs. The authors are also grateful to the Head of the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Katowice and the Major of the town of Łazy for their cooperation and permission to carry out the fieldwork in the “Parkowe” nature reserve (permission No. WNP.6205.8.2017.MM) and the natural monument “Zespół Źródeł rzeki Centurii zlokalizowany w miejscowości Hutki Kanki, Gmina Łazy” (“Complex of Centuria River springs located in the village of Hutki Kanki, the commune of Łazy”; permission No. WK-OŚ.604.21.2017, Resolution No. XXXIII/256/13). The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their very valuable substantive comments that helped to improve the final version of this paper.


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