Influence of surface salinity gradient on dinoflagellate cyst community structure, abundance and morphology in the Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak

Sirje Sildever, Thorbjørn Joest Andersen, Sofia Ribeiro, Marianne Ellegaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes in dinoflagellate cyst forming species composition, abundance and morphology along the surface salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak were investigated and compared with detailed surface salinity data. A strong positive correlation was found between species diversity and surface salinity (R 2=0.94; n=7) in the Baltic Sea-Kattegat-Skagerrak system. The most pronounced decrease in dinoflagellate cyst diversity occurred between Kattegat and the Arkona basin, where the surface salinity also steeply declined. Overall, the total cyst abundance decreased along the salinity gradient. However, in the Gotland and particularly in the Northern Central basin cyst concentrations were elevated compared to the surrounding basins and the cyst community was dominated by heterotrophic cyst-producing dinoflagellate species. Possible factors behind this observation are discussed, with increased nutrient supply as the most likely primary cause. In addition, surface salinity was also confirmed to influence process length development of Operculodinium centrocarpum (R 2=0.86; n=145), which was the most abundant species in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume155
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Baltic Sea
  • Dinoflagellate cysts
  • Operculodinium centrocarpum
  • Process length
  • Sea-surface salinity (SSS)
  • Species diversity

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate

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