Phytoplankton response to N-rich well amelioration brines: A mesocosm study from the southeastern Mediterranean Sea

O. Raveh, Dror L. Angel, P. Astrahan, Natalia Belkin, Edo Bar-Zeev, Eyal Rahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human-induced eutrophication of coastal water may be a major threat to aquatic life. Here, we investigated the effects of N-rich well amelioration brines (WAB) on coastal phytoplankton population's habitat in the surface oligotrophic waters of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea (SEM). To this end, we added WAB (2 concentrations) to mesocosms (1-m3 bags) to surface SEM water during summer and winter, where changes in phytoplankton biomass, activity and diversity was monitored daily for 8 days. Our results demonstrate that WAB addition triggered a phytoplankton bloom, resulting in elevated algal biomass (maximal +780%), increased primary production rates (maximal +675%) and a decrease in eukaryotic algal α-diversity (ca. −20%). Among the species that bloomed following WAB amendments, we found the potentially toxic dinoflagellate Karlodinium venificum. This study adds valuable perspective to the effect of nutrients discharged into nutrient limited SEM coastal waters, and in particular of N-derived WAB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume146
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Eutrophication
  • Nitrate
  • Phytoplankton
  • Primary production
  • Southeastern Mediterranean Sea
  • Well amelioration brines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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