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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
  Year: 2018 | Volume: 12 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 153-159
DOI: 10.3923/rjes.2018.153.159
 
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First Report on the Occurrence and Dynamics of the Ectoparasitic Dinoflagellate Amyloodinium ocellatum in the Moroccan Atlantic Coast

Soumia Tahraoui, Btissam Ennaffah, Zahira Belattmania, Abdeltif Reani and Brahim Sabour

Abstract:
Background and Objective: Dinoflagellates are commonly found in marine ecosystems and contain both photosynthetic and heterotrophic representatives. Among the latter, several species have been reported as parasites of various marine organisms. This study mainly focused on the proliferation of the ectoparasitic Dinoflagellate Amyloodinium ocellatum (A. ocellatum), documented for the first time in the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Methodology: As part of a monitoring program of harmful marine phytoplankton along Casablanca-El Jadida Atlantic axis, monthly sampling of phytoplankton and water was conducted from March, 2014 to November, 2015 to determine the temporal abundance and distribution of phytoplankton species in El Mrissa bay (33°31'48.5"N 7°48'55.3"W) 20 km South of Casablanca city. Particularly, taxonomic characteristics and environmental conditions encountered during the proliferation of Amyloodinium ocellatum are presented and discussed. Results: The taxonomic structure of phytoplankton populations showed a composition generally dominated by Diatoms (57%) and Dinoflagellates (38%) essentially represented by Peridiniales and Gymnodiniales species. Mass proliferations of Amyloodinium ocellatum has been detected during September, 2014 and October, 2015 with cellular densities of 1×106 and 2.5×104 cells L–1, respectively. The main environmental factors leading to the ecological success of Amyloodinium ocellatum were relatively high temperature (21.2-25.8°C), high concentration of ammonium (10-10.4 mg L–1) and orthophosphates deficiency (0.8-0.9 μg L–1). Conclusion: This is the first record of the ectoparasitic Dinoflagellate Amyloodinium ocellatum in the Atlantic coast of Morocco and one of the rare instances in planktonic realm. The ecological importance of this species is particularly evident during epidemic outbreaks that cause mass mortality of host organisms. Parasitic Dinoflagellates are poorly investigated in Moroccan waters and accordingly further taxonomic and ecological investigations centering on parasitic Dinoflagellates are badly needed.
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How to cite this article:

Soumia Tahraoui, Btissam Ennaffah, Zahira Belattmania, Abdeltif Reani and Brahim Sabour, 2018. First Report on the Occurrence and Dynamics of the Ectoparasitic Dinoflagellate Amyloodinium ocellatum in the Moroccan Atlantic Coast. Research Journal of Environmental Sciences, 12: 153-159.

DOI: 10.3923/rjes.2018.153.159

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=rjes.2018.153.159

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