Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 121, Issue 1–3, pp 65–75 | Cite as

Productivity and Distribution of Epipellic Microalgae Along Salinity Gradients in Mangrove Swamp of the Qua Iboe Estuary (NIGERIA)

  • J. P. EssienEmail author
  • R. M. Ubom
  • S. P. Antai


Based on spatial variation in tidal mud salinity, direct gradient analysis procedures were adopted to relate the productivity and distribution of epipellic microalgae along salinity gradients in mangrove swamp of the Qua Iboe Estuary. Variations in mud salinities were due to distance from the coast, tidal incursions and freshwater input. The dilution effect of fresh water input from rainfall, urban runoff and associated freshwater creeks was most severe during the rainy season month of July, with much lower salinity levels recorded, in comparison to higher salinity values, recorded for same sampling locations during the drier month of December. In the dry season, all the microalgae species but Closterium (a genus of soft, green algae) and Oscillatoria (a cyanobacterium) species encountered in the tidal mud flats showed statistically significant negative correlations with salinity, while most microalgae species excluding Oscillatoria and Closterium species were positively correlated with the same factor during the wet season. Four Ecological Groups of microalgae, were established in the dry season month of December as against two Ecological Groups in the wet season month of July. However no microalgae species was found to occur on the highest values of mud salinity and there were overlapping range of occurrences and ecological optima for most species along the gradients.


epipellic microalgae salinity gradients mangrove swamp 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology UnitUniversity of CalabarCalabarNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Botany and MicrobiologyUniversity of UyoUyoNigeria

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