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International Research Journal of Microbiology

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Species composition and abundance of phytoplankton communities in Acapulco Bay, Mexico

Abstract

Agustín A. Rojas-Herrera, Juan Violante-González, Víctor M. G. Sevilla-Torres, Jaime S. Gil- Guerrero, Pedro Flores-Rodríguez, José Antonio Rendón-Dircio

Phytoplankton community species composition and abundance over time in Acapulco Bay, Mexico, were quantified from September 2009 to April 2010. Monthly phytoplankton samples and physicochemical measurements (water temperature, pH, salinity and nutrient concentrations) were taken monthly. A total of 102 species were identified: 51 dinoflagellates, 42 diatoms, 4 cyanobacteria, 2 silicoflagellates, 2 chlorophytes and 1 charophyte. Community structure was determined principally by adiaphoric species, that is, those adapted to neritic and oceanic environments. The diatoms Chaetoceros affinis, Rhizosolenia hebetata, R. alata and Chaetoceros sp. dominated during the rainy season (September-November 2009) and early dry season. The dinoflagellate Neoceratium deflexum dominated during the dry season. Variations in phytoplankton community composition and abundance responded mainly to fluctuations in water nutrient concentrations. At least eight potentially toxic dinoflagellate species were recorded which could generate harmful algal blooms (HABs) if bay environmental conditions are altered.

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