Here is the list of publications I found during my search, about phytoplankton, water quality index, biological indicators, etc. Some are less linked to the subject, but I give here the complete list, I will continue to work on it, select relevant ones and add more references




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18 December 2002

Phytoplankton and water quality….


Here is the list of publications I found during my search, about phytoplankton, water quality index, biological indicators, etc. Some are less linked to the subject, but I give here the complete list, I will continue to work on it, select relevant ones and add more references.

If you have an end-note references list, send it to me (celine.duhamel@jrc.it), I will complete this list and update the CHARM web-page.


Abdalla, R.R., Zaghloul, F.A. & Hussein, N.R. (1995) A statistical modelling of phytoplankton eutrophication in the Eastern Harbour, Alexandria, Egypt. Bull Natl Inst Oceanogr Fish Egypt, 21, 125-146.M (Marine)

Phytoplankton ; Eutrophication ; Rhizosolenia fragilissima; Rhizosolenia delicalula; Skeletonema costatum; MED, Egypt, Arab Rep., Alexandria

community composition; statistical models

Mediterranean (MED)

The Eastern Harbour of Alexandria, Egypt, is a shallow semiclosed basin which receives a constant high input of sewage effluent showing an eutrophication phenomena. The harbour is characterized by high nutrient load particularly phosphate, nitrate and ammonia. Its oxygen content shows a wide variation between surface and near bottom water layer. The amounts of dissolved organic matter and suspended particles are also high. As a result of excessive nutrient impact, the harbour sustained high density of phytoplankton attaining an average of 4.1 x 10 super(6) unit/l at surface layer. The community was characterized by the dominance of eutrophication tolerant algal species such as Skeletonema costatum, Rhizosolenia fragilissima and R. delicalula. For over all analysis of eutrophication phenomenon in the Eastern Harbour, a statistical regression model describing the dependence of phytoplankton standing crop on the level of the most important environmental factor was established and discussed.


Admiraal, W., Barranguet, C., Van Beusekom, S.A.M., Bleeker, E.A.J., Van den Ende, F.P., Van der Geest, H.G., Groenendijk, D., Ivorra, N., Kraak, M.H.S. & Stuijfzand, S.C. (2000) Linking ecological and ecotoxicological techniques to support river rehabilitation. Chemosphere, 41, 289-295.

Aquatic ecosystems; Pollution monitoring; Reviews ; Freshwater pollution; Literature reviews; Toxicity tests; Pollution tolerance; Mutagens ; Biodegradation ; Biological development; Genetic abnormalities; Pollution effects; Analytical techniques; Ecosystem management; Environment management; Aquatic organisms; Restoration ; Rivers ; Environmental restoration; Biota ; Toxicants ; Community composition; ecotoxicology

Human activities in river catchments interfere with natural fluxes of water and materials. Diffuse inputs and point-sources of toxicants have modified the ecological state of riverine communities considerably, and sanitation schemes are now under development for various rivers. To improve analysis, monitoring and prospecting the role of toxicants in river ecosystems a review of the available methods is undertaken. Ecotoxicological techniques are discussed in relation to basic ecological principles that are thought to regulate the functioning of communities. The response to toxicants among species is highly diverse and therefore the choice of test species (e.g. of typical riverine insects as caddisflies or mayflies) is critical, as it is the use of test-batteries. Long-term exposure may lead to developmental disturbances that may be assessed through morphometric techniques like analysis of asymmetry. Multi-generation exposure, although rarely studied, provides a useful insight into the genetic consequences of pollution. Selection for tolerant species or varieties has been experimentally assessed for smaller organisms such as insects, micro-algae, and bacteria. There is also perspective for multivariate analysis of species distribution in relation to pollutant exposure. Furthermore, a system approach to benthic ecology and sediment testing is needed. Such an approach reflects the strong linkage of ecological and ecotoxicological processes. Toxicants are transformed by biological activity; in some cases this alleviates toxicant stress, but in other cases degradation products are toxic as well. The risk of transformation to mutagenic products in the environment is indicated. The re-assessment of some of the classical ecotoxicological techniques is needed to adequately fulfil the needs of ecological recovery programs. To this purpose integration of ecotoxicological and ecological tools is needed.


Ahner, B.A., Price, N.M. & Morel, F.M.M. (1994) Phytochelatin production by marine phytoplankton at low free metal ion concentrations: Laboratory studies and field data from Massachusetts Bay. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 91, 8433-8436.M (Marine)

phytoplankton ; Thalassiosira weissflogii; chelatin ; USA, Massachusetts Bay; metals ; metal binding protein; pytochelatin ; chelates ; bioaccumulation ; proteins ; heavy metals; cadmium ; plant physiology; ANW, USA, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Bay; organometallic compounds; Bacillariophyceae ; pollution indicators; indicator species

Atlantic Northwest (ANW)

Phytochelatins are small metal-binding polypeptides synthesized by algae in response to high metal concentrations. Using a very sensitive HPLC method, we have quantified phytochelatins from phytoplankton in laboratory cultures at environmentally relevant metal concentrations and in marine field samples. Intracellular concentrations of phytochelatin, in the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, exhibit a distinct dose-response relation with free Cd super(2+) concentration in the medium--not with total Cd super(2+)--and are detectable even when the free Cd super(2+) concentration is less than 1 pM. In Massachusetts Bay, phytochelatin levels (normalized to chlorophyll a) in the particulate fraction are similar to those measured in laboratory cultures exposed to picomolar free Cd super(2+) concentrations and exhibit a decreasing seaward trend. Incubations of natural samples with added Cd super(2+) confirmed the induction of the peptides by this metal. Ambient phytochelatin concentrations thus appear to provide a measure of the metal stress resulting from the complex mixture of trace metals and chelators in natural waters.


Aksnes, D.L., Ulvestad, K.B., Balino, B.M., Berntsen, J., Egge, J.K. & Svendsen, E. (1995) Ecological modelling in coastal waters: Towards predictive physical-chemical-biological simulation models. Ophelia, 41, 5-36.M (Marine)

models ; phytoplankton ; coastal waters; nutrients mineral; algal blooms; environment management; algae ; ANE, North Sea Atlantic Northeast (ANE)

A simple, but general, simulation model is specified according to the state-of-the-art within phytoplankton modelling: Process representations are based upon prevailing theoretical and empirical representations given in the literature, and a set of earlier published values of model coefficients that have demonstrated good fit to reliable observations was selected. The emerging phytoplankton model was then validated against data obtained from enclosure experiments with light, N, and P limitations. We applied no tuning of the coefficients as the purpose of this test was to estimate the predictive power of the proposed model. The general standard deviations between model predictions and observations were on the range 0.04-0.36 and 0.13-0.42 for the nutrient and phytoplankton state variables respectively. Not surprisingly, these values are higher than those obtained in tuned simulations. Nevertheless, several characteristics, such as the balance between diatoms and flagellates, were predicted by the model. The phytoplankton model was set up and driven by a 3-dimensional physical model for the North Sea. The period February-June 1988 was simulated and forced with realistic topography, meteorological data, riverine freshwater and nutrient input. Simulated developments in nutrients, diatoms and flagellates are presented with references to actual observations and the Chrysochromulina polylepis bloom in 1988. Several important characteristics, such as the timing of two diatom blooms in March and April and one flagellate bloom in May together with vertical and horizontal distributions of nutrients, were simulated without tuning of the model to the actual observations. The present simulations support the general idea that flagellates in the coastal areas of the North Sea are stimulated by anthropogenic nutrients, but more specifically that a strong flagellate bloom in the Kattegat-Skagerrak area, corresponding to the C. polylepis bloom, was stimulated by such nutrients in May 1988. Although the model should be improved before it is applied in a management context, the great potential of using such models in environmental management is demonstrated.


Anderson, N.J. & Rippey, B. (1994) Monitoring lake recovery from point-source eutrophication: The use of diatom-inferred epilimnetic total phosphorus and sediment chemistry. Freshwat. Biol., 32, 625-639.F (Freshwater)

eutrophication ; indicator species; phosphorus ; sediment chemistry; cores ; Bacillariophyceae ; British Isles, Northern Ireland, Tyrone, Augher L.; lake reclamation; pollution control

Diatom and geochemical responses to reduced nutrient loading were followed in a small, monomictic eutrophic lake in Northern Ireland by use of short sediment cores taken c. 15 years after redirection of creamery waste away from the lake. Epilimnetic total phosphorus (TP) concentrations were estimated for the period 1850-1990 using weighted averaging regression and calibration. Background TP levels, inferred using the diatom model, were c. 35 mu g TP l super(-1) and increased to > 140 mu g TP l super(-1) in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Total P concentrations dropped to 80 mu g TP l super(-1) within 5 years of waste diversion (c. 1978-79), but varied between 1980 and 1990 (range 70-140 mu g TP l super(-1)). Diatom-inferred TP concentrations were compared with monitored data where available, and the diatom model tended to overestimate TP concentrations by about 25 mu g TP l super(-1). Possible reasons for this are discussed.


Anneville, O. & Pelletier, J.P. (2000) Recovery of Lake Geneva from eutrophication: Quantitative response of phytoplankton. Arch Hydrobiol, 148, 607-624.F (Freshwater)

Eutrophication ; Phosphorus ; Primary production; Biomass ; Long term changes; Europe, Geneva L. phytoplankton ; chlorophylls ; seasonal variations; nannoplankton

During the seventies Lake Geneva (Switzerland-France) became eutrophic. Measures to reduce phosphorus inputs into the lake have been successful as the concentration of phosphorus has progressively decreased since 1981. This paper describes the long-term quantitative response of phytoplankton (primary production, total phytoplankton biomass, and chlorophyll-a) with regard to the decline in soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration. The annual means of phytoplankton parameters do not show the expected decrease. The long-term trends of annual means appeared to be the resultant of compensating trends which occurred in each season. SRP concentrations indicate that phytoplankton may be phosphorus limited only during summer which appears to be the most appropriate season to study the quantitative response of phytoplankton. From 1981 to 1992, the summer algal biomass and chlorophyll-a have been correlated to the late winter concentration of SRP. However, in the recent years, algal biomass and chlorophyll-a increased while phosphorus remained at low concentrations. This paradoxal increase in total biomass was due to the accumulation of inedible filamentous algae. The observed resilience of phytoplankton is a problem in terms of lake management. These results stress the importance of an appropriate time scale study and bring back into question the use of parameters such as primary production, total phytoplankton biomass, and chlorophyll-a for lake management.


Bachelet, G., de Montaudouin, X., Auby, I. & Labourg, P.-J. Seasonal changes in macrophyte and macrozoobenthos assemblages in three coastal lagoons under varying degrees of eutrophication. ICES Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 57, pp. 1495-1506.

coastal lagoons, eutrophication, macrophytes, macrozoobenthos

The dynamics of macrophytic and macrozoobenthic communities were studied during two consecutive years in three French lagoons with differing degrees of eutrophication:

(1) Arcachon Bay, a macrotidal lagoon on the Atlantic coast;

(2) the fishponds of Certes, an almost enclosed system adjacent to Arcachon Bay; and

(3) the Etang du Prévost, a highly eutrophic Mediterranean lagoon experiencing summer dystrophic crises. Two stations were sampled seasonally in each system.

The intertidal area of Arcachon Bay was covered by a dense, stable seagrass (Zostera noltii) bed. In terms of abundance, macrofauna were dominated by oligochaetes, which could be related to the high below-ground plant biomass, including slow-decaying debris; faunal biomass remained relatively constant, throughout the study period. In the Certes lagoons, which were intermediate between the other two systems in terms of eutrophication, vegetation was dominated by another rooted phanerogam (Ruppia cirrhosa) with fairly constant biomass, while sporadic development of green macroalgae occurred in spring; both biomass and species richness of macrofauna were low. In the Prévost lagoon, macrophytes were opportunistic macroalgae that first proliferated and then disappeared over a short period in summer; this seasonal crisis resulted in a marked decrease in both biomass and abundance of macrozoobenthos. Macrobenthic dominance shifted after the first summer from suspension-feeding bivalves to subsurface deposit-feeding annelids. The differences in structure and seasonal dynamics of benthos in the three systems may have significant effects on higher trophic levels.


Bak, M., Wawrzyniak-Wydrowska & Witkowski, A. (2001) Odra river discharge as a factor affecting species composition of the Szczecin Lagoon diatom flora, Poland. In Lange-Bertalot-Festschrift. Studies on diatoms. (Jahn, R., et al. eds.), pp. 491-506. A.R.G. Gartner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.Saprobiensystem, Indikator


Bakker, C. & Vink, M. (1994) Nutrient Concentrations and Planktonic Diatom-Flagellate Relations in the Oosterschelde (SW Netherlands) During and After the Construction of a Storm-Surge Barrier. Hydrobiologia, 283, 101-116.

Diatom biomass decreased but flagellate biomass increased during summer after decrease in Si and N since 1987 in the Oosterschelde. The inflow of Rhine water into the Oosterschelde was strongly reduced from 1987 onwards. This caused the winter concentrations of silicate and nitrate to decrease in the Eastern compartment, while those in the deeper Western compartment, more dependent on North Sea concentrations, hardly changed. The result was a levelling of the former East-West gradients for these nutrients. In East, summer concentrations of nitrate reached limiting levels in the post-barrier period and molar nitrate/ammonium ratios became < 1, indicating that any release of nitrogen must be important to stimulate phytoplankton growth in this area. Silicate summer concentrations in East, on the other hand, were higher in the new situation. In West, differences in summer nutrient concentrations between the old and new situation were smaller than in East, due to the still continuing exchange with the North Sea. Phytoplankton diatoms and flagellates In East during summer, N-depletion and longer residence times caused the phytoplankton to become strongly dependent on nutrient regeneration processes and increased zooplankton grazing. Average diatom biomass declined, but flagellate biomass rose during summer. Spring conditions for phytoplankton development in this area improved due to the increased water transparency, nutrients being present in excess, and this resulted in a higher 'new' production of diatoms than before. In West, summer biomass of diatoms decreased, probably due to increased consumption by mussels under conditions of longer residence times; nutrients were not limiting, due to important benthic mineralization processes and exchange with the North Sea. The previously existing West-East biomass gradients disappeared, or sometimes reversed. Experimental (mesocosm studies) as well as field data, reported in the literature, give evidence for the given explanations.

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