Organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst production, composition and flux in the Central Strait of Georgia (BC, Canada): a sediment trap study




Esenkulova, Svetlana

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To study the ecology of organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts, the changes in species composition, diversity, and seasonal variations of cyst flux in the sediment trap deployed in the Strait of Georgia (BC, Canada) were examined. The cyst production rate varied from ~600 to 336,200 cysts m-2 day-1, with an average of 20,000 cysts m-2 day-1. Throughout the study period (March, 1996 - January, 1999), cyst assemblages were mostly dominated by cysts produced by heterotrophic dinoflagellates, such as Protoperidineaceae (Brigantedinium spp., Quinquequspis concreta, and cysts of Protoperidinium americanum). Cysts produced by heterotrophic dinoflagellates peaked in June each year, whereas cysts produced by autotrophic taxa were most abundant during August-September. The total annual dinoflagellate cyst flux was higher in 1996 than in 1997 and 1998, being enhanced by the bloom of Alexandrium spp. The warmer sea-surface temperature in 1998 had a positive effect on the production of both autotrophic and heterotrophic dinoflagellates, as inferred from the cyst fluxes.



dinoflagellate cysts, sediment trap, El Nino, coastal systems, estuarine systems, phytoplankton