Dinoflagellate Cysts in Coastal Sediments as Indicators of Eutrophication: A Case of Gwangyang Bay, South Sea of Korea
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- Kim, SY., Moon, CH., Cho, HJ. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2009) 32: 1225. doi:10.1007/s12237-009-9212-6
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Diatom densities in the surface water and dinoflagellate cysts in bottom sediments of Gwangyang Bay were studied to determine changes in the phytoplankton community structure in response to anthropogenic eutrophication and to assess the use of dinoflagellate cysts as indicators of coastal eutrophication. Our results show that, in nutrient-enriched environments, diatoms are particularly benefited from the nutrients supplied and, as a consequence, heterotrophic dinoflagellates that feed on the diatoms can be more abundant than autotrophic dinoflagellates. In short-core sediment records, a marked shift in autotrophic–heterotrophic dinoflagellate cyst compositions occurred at a depth of approximately 9–10 cm corresponding to the timing of the 1970s industrialization around Gwangyang Bay. This tentatively indicates that diatom and dinoflagellate communities here have undergone a considerable change mainly due to increased nutrient loadings from both domestic sewage effluent and industrial pollution. Our study suggests a possible potential use of dinoflagellate cysts in providing retrospective information on the long-term effects of coastal eutrophication.