Ship traffic and the introduction of diatoms and dinoflagellates via ballast water in the port of Annaba, Algeria

The authors present here the first study on the role of ship traffic in the introduction of potentially harmful and/or non-indigenous species in the port of Annaba (Algeria). A total of 25 ships of two different types (general cargo and bulk carriers) were sampled and separated into two categories: oceanic and Mediterranean ships. The authors estimated propagule pressure of high-risk coastal phytoplankton delivered in ballast water to the port of Annaba. 40 diatom and 38 dinoflagellate taxa were identified, among which, 11 harmful/toxic taxa: Pseudo-nitzschia spp., Alexandrium tamarense, Alexandrium sp., Dinophysis acuminata, Dinophysis rotundata, Dinophysis sp., Gonyaulax spinifera, Gymnodinium catenatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum, Protoceratium reticulatum and cyst of Alexandrium sp. In addition, 8 taxa (5 diatoms, 1 dinoflagellate and 2 dinoflagellate cysts) never observed in the Annaba region were considered as potentially non-indigenous: Actinoptychus splendens, Coscinodiscus asteromphalus, Coscinodiscus lineatus, Odentella granulata, Thalassiosira cf. decipiens, Prorocentrum scutellum, cyst of Polykrikos kofoidii and Islandinium minutum. Several factors were examined, including ship routes, ballast water age and the volume of ballast water discharged. The authors’ analyses revealed that diatom and dinoflagellate abundances decreased with ballast water age, possibly as a result of mortality of species due to voyage length and lack of light in ballast tanks. Estimates of actual propagule pressure, diatoms and dinoflagellates abundances varied from 1 to 4×108 cells/ship. The results of this study could serve as the baseline for the development and implementation of monitoring and ballast water management programs in ports of Algeria.


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  • Accession Number: 01780935
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2020 2:05PM