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Phytoplankton community in the coastal waters of Oualidia lagoon was characterized from June 2011 to May 2012. Taxonomic composition, abundance and diversity index were determined at six sample sites. A total of 127 species of phytoplankton belonging to two groups viz. bacillariophyceae (81 species) and dinophyceae (46 species) were reported from the all study sites. The results show there is a clear qualitative and quantitative dominance of diatoms, followed by dinoflagellates. Seasonal differences in the quantitative and qualitative composition of the phytoplankton communities in the different sites were marked. The Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index (1,41- 4,41 bits) classified Oualidia lagoon as being not stressed environment. Various water parameters were correlated with phytoplankton diversity. Temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity and nitrite were found to be important parameters influencing the species composition and succession of phytoplankton at this location.
[Laila Natij, Zainab Damsiri, Karima Khalil, Mohammed Loudiki, Omar Ettahiri, Khalid Elkalay (2014); Phytoplankton abundance and diversity in the coastal waters of Oualidia lagoon, south Moroccan Atlantic in relation to environmental variables Int. J. of Adv. Res. 2 (6). 0] (ISSN 2320-5407). www.journalijar.com
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