Seasonal species diversity and abundance of phytoplankton from the southwestern Caspian Sea

Document Type: Short communication


1 Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Fishery, Marine Science and Technology Campus, Islamic Azad University, North Branch of Tehran, Zaaferaniyeh, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Mathematics, Basic Sciences School, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran


In the present investigation, we aimed to study diversity and cell abundance of phytoplankton in the southwest of the Caspian Sea. This survey included 4 transects and 12 stations. A total of 48 samples were collected during spring 2012 and spring 2013. Finally, 72 species of phytoplankton were identified including phyla Diatoms (29 species), Chlorophyta (17 species), Pyrrophyta (16 species), Cyanophyta (6 species), and Euglenophyta (4 species). The total average of cell abundance was approximately 43.55 ± 5.10 × 104 cells/m3. The number of recorded species in spring, summer, autumn, and winter was 46, 50, 41 and 39, respectively. Diatoms had the highest species diversity and cell abundance in winter related to Thalassionema nitzschiodes at a depth of 10 m. Seasonal changes in diversity of phytoplankton significantly differed, showing maximum in autumn with high diversity index (2.532) and minimum in spring (2.201) on Shannon Diversity Index. Finally, the quality of water is classified according to this index in the middle level.