Phytoplankton abundance and structure as indicator of water quality in the drainage system of the Burullus Lagoon, southern Mediterranean coast, Egypt

  • Hala Yassin El-KassasEmail author
  • Samiha Mahmoud Gharib


This study represents the first detailed account of phytoplankton community structure and seasonal succession in eight drain sites and the Brimbal Canal influx into the Burullus Lagoon. The phytoplankton characteristics were studied based on the data collected seasonally over 4 years, from summer 2012 to spring 2016. Various indices such as Palmer’s and Shannon’s biotic indices were used for the assessment of the water quality of the different drains. There were a total of 194 species belonging to 65 genera and 6 groups: Bacillariophyceae (76 species), Chlorophyceae (59 species), Cyanophyceae (30 species), Euglenophyceae (25 species), Dinophyceae (3 species), and Xanthophyceae (1 species). The phytoplankton community was dominated with diatoms, green algae, and euglenoids such as Cyclotella, Scenedesmus, Navicula, Nitzschia, Ankistrodesmus, Chlorella, and Euglena. Maximum and minimum phytoplankton abundance was recorded at the Brimbal Canal and Hooks Drain. Maximum and minimum species diversities (H′) were found at the Hooks Drain (2.564) and Burullus Drain (2.055). Species evenness fluctuated between 0.595 (Burullus Drain) and 0.750 (West Burullus Drain). The total score of algal genus pollution index and the algal species pollution index at the different drains showed that Drain 7 and the West Burullus Drain had moderate pollution, and the total score of the other drains were greater than 20 indicating the confirmed high organic pollution. Thus, the present investigation can be considered an attempt to use the phytoplankton community as a bioindicator of organic pollution.


Phytoplankton Drainage system of the Burullus Lagoon Water quality 



The authors would like to express their grateful thanks to Dr. Tarek M. El-Geziry, Assistant Professor of Physical Oceanography at NIOF, for his kind help in the proof reading and language revision of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hala Yassin El-Kassas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samiha Mahmoud Gharib
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF)AlexandriaEgypt

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