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.
- Primary production
- Southeastern Mediterranean Sea
- Well amelioration brines
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science