Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Sophia Barinova (email@example.com)
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Citation: Barinova, S., Bondarenko, A., Ryabushko, L., Kapranov, S., (2019). Microphytobenthos as an indicator of water quality and organic pollution in the western coastal zone of the Sea of Azov. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 48(2), 21-35. doi:10.1515/ohs-2019-0013
Bioindication of organic pollution and seawater quality was carried out for the first time in the western part of the Sea of Azov on the basis of species composition and quantitative characteristics of microphytobenthos. A total of 229 algal samples were collected at 17 sites over the period of 2005–2014 on three different substrates in three areas under study: the Sivash Gulf, the Kerch Strait and Cape Kazantip. In total, 200 taxa of algae were found, which belong to six taxonomic divisions with a predominance of diatoms. Among those, 108 taxa are indicators of substrate, water temperature, salinity, water pH, trophic state, the type of nutrition and organic pollution of water. It has been shown that the most active self-purification of water takes place in communities on stony substrates. The largest number of algae species (50%) occurs in the cleanest waters of the Kazantip Nature Reserve (Water Quality Classes I–II). The species composition of organic pollution indicators in the Sivash Gulf corresponds to waters of Classes III–IV, which are more polluted than those of the Kerch Strait and Cape Kazantip. All the studied areas of the Sea of Azov are cleaner compared to some waters of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Sea of Japan.
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