INSTITUTO DE LIMNOLOGIA "DR. RAUL A. RINGUELET"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Diatom assemblages from a turbid coastal plain estuary: Río de la Plata (South America)
LICURSI, M.; SIERRA, M. V.; GOMEZ, N.
Journal of Marine Systems
Año: 2006 vol. 62 p. 35 - 35
Abstract The Río de la Plata is located on the East coast of South America and is a shallow, large-scale, turbid coastal plain estuary that cobres an approximate area of 35,000 km2.Despite the socio-economic importance of the Río de la Plata, studies related to the biological aspects of this ecosystem are scarce, particularly in the freshwater tidal zone. The objective of this study was to explore the diatom composition and distribution of density, biomass and empty frustules along the fluvialmixohaline axis. Furthermore it was to analyze the spatial succession of diatom assemblages and the environmental variables during an extensive sampling carried out during spring 2001. Two replicate sub-surface water samples were collected at 29 sites for quantitative analysis of phytoplankton. The greatest number of species, mainly pennate taxa, were observed in the freshwater tidal zone. The average density of the diatoms was 59 cells ml-1. Chains or filaments of centric diatoms were frequent and dominant in the samples along the fluvialmixohaline axis. The carbon content of the diatoms increased downstream,with an average value of 2.5 ìg C l-1 in the freshwater tidal zone and 4.4 ìgCl-1 in themixohaline zone. Diatoms supplied 65% of the total phytoplankton carbon content in the freshwater tidal zone and reached 17% in the mixohaline zone. CanonicalCorrespondenceAnalysis (CCA) allowed us to identify two species assemblages in theRío de la Plata differentiatedmainly by salinity, pH and silicate gradients. In our study species exclusive to brackish waters were not identified, but some freshwater and marine taxa with wide ranges of salinity tolerance were observed.