Phytoplankton along the coastal shelf of an oligotrophic hypersaline environment in a semi-enclosed marginal sea: Qatar (Arabian Gulf) Academic Article uri icon


  • Phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll a concentration), primary production, abundance, species diversity and species groupings were measured in the coastal waters surrounding Qatar (Arabian Gulf) at 13 stations in February 2010, July 2010, February 2011 and May 2011. In addition, a broad suite of physico-chemical characteristics were measured: temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and nutrients (dissolved and particulate). Waters surrounding the Qatari peninsula were found to be highly diverse (125 species of diatoms, dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria were identified) but were low in both biomass (0.18-2.19gChl al-1) and productivity (0.14-0.97mgCm-2day-1). Phytoplankton physiology (Fv/Fm, PSII, Qa, p) revealed acclimation strategies consistent with phytoplankton populations receiving ample light but insufficient nutrients. The finding of low primary production is consistent with water column nutrient ratios (DIN:P and DIN:Si ratios<1) and nutrient enrichment experiments in which the addition of nitrate or the addition of near-bottom waters stimulated biomass production of phytoplankton. This study in an oligotrophic, hypersaline semi-enclosed marginal sea is intended to contribute to the growing body of ecological information on this ecosystem functions. 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 6.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Quigg, A., Al-Ansi, M., Al Din, N. N., Wei, C., Nunnally, C. C., Al-Ansari, I. S., ... Abdel-Moati, M. A.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Quigg, Antonietta||Al-Ansi, Mohsin||Al Din, Nehad Nour||Wei, Chih-Lin||Nunnally, Clifton C||Al-Ansari, Ibrahim S||Rowe, Gilbert T||Soliman, Yousria||Al-Maslamani, Ibrahim||Mahmoud, Ismail||Youssef, Nabiha||Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A

publication date

  • January 2013