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Asian Journal of Applied Sciences
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Seasonal Variation and Abundance of Harmful Bacillaria paxillifera Species (Müller, 1786) in Bonny Estuary, Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Dienye Henry Eyina and Sikoki Francis David

Background and Objectives: Harmful algal species are natural phenomena that have occurred throughout history in water bodies. Estuaries form an integral part of inshore waters, despite extreme conditions, they are fertile, highly productive and essential ecosystem. This study examined the seasonal variation and abundance of harmful Bacillaria paxillifera species in the Bonny Estuary. Materials and Methods: Plankton samples were collected with 20 μm mesh plankton net to provide a quantitative account of the algal species, the physico chemical characteristics of the estuary was also determined by using a horiba water checker. Results: Mean density value per liter of Bacillaria paxillifera spp. ranged from 165.52 (cell L1) in station 4-336.14 (cell L1) in station 1. The monthly distribution of the species showed that highest density value per liter was recorded in the month of April and least density value per liter was recorded in the month of February. Seasonal distribution revealed that the species decreased across season from dry to wet. Correlations matrix between physico chemical parameters, nutrients and total biomass of the species also revealed that pH, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, salinity and nitrate correlated positively with total biomass while, temperature and phosphate showed negative correlation with total biomass. Conclusion: Therefore, there is need for further research to provide information on prediction of possible bloom of this species in Bonny estuary.
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