Temporal distribution of potentially toxic algae (dinoflagelates and diatoms) in butrinti lagoon

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NATURA MONTENEGRINA, Podgorica, 9(3):307-319
TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE
(DINOFLAGELLATES AND DIATOMS) IN BUTRINTI LAGOON
Merjem BUSHATI1, Erlinda KONI1, Aleko MIHO2, Marsela BREGAJ1
1 Department of Food Safety, Food Safety and Veterinary Institute, Tirana, Albania, tel./Fax: +355 4
372 912; e-mail: merjemb@yahoo.com, erlindakoni@yahoo.com, marselabregaj@yahoo.com
2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania, tel.:
+355.4.232120; e-mail: amiho@icc-al.org
.
Key words:
Butrinti lagoon,
abundance,
potentially toxic
phytoplankton,
ANOVA Single
Factor.
SYNOPSIS
Sampling two times per month was conducted from
January 2006 to April 2007, at three stations along three
transects, in Butrinti lagoon (Saranda region, Ionian Sea). It
aimed the determination of the temporal presence/
abundance of the potentially toxic phytoplankton along the
Albanian coastal zone of Ionian Sea.
The study was focused on the most abundant taxa
Gonyaulax spinifera, Dinophysis sacculus, D. fortii,
Alexandrium spp., Karenia spp., Pseudo-nitzschia
delicatissima, P. seriata, Prorocentrum minimum,
Scripsiella spp.; the identities of the mostly were confirmed
on cleaned materials. Abundances displayed horizontal
structure in the study area.
It was the first report of the occurrence and dynamics
of Alexandrium spp., Karenia spp. populations in Butrinti
lagoon.
INTRODUCTION
The Butrinti lake (Fig. 1) is situated in the southern part of Albania. This is a
typical coastal lagoon which average depth is 14 m (max. 21.4m) and is connected
with Bistrica river in the northern part and with the Ionian sea in the southwestern
part. The water resources in Albania, offer great possibilities for fishing and
aquaculture development. Successful aquaculture production and trading is based
on strictly healthy criteria and on the water quality, according to the EU standards.
This is one of the main aims of Food Safety and Veterinary Institute. Monitoring
Bushati et al.: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE. . .
308
waters about chimical, microbiological and biological valuation is very important. The
determination of biotoxins and potentially toxic phytoplankton based on standard
methods is a task of the Food Safety sector of this Institute, which is helpful for the
determination and the prevention of possible dangers from the use of fish and
mollusks products.
Planktonic Algal development up to 1 million cell/L, known as algal blooms, is
helpful for aquaculture and fishing in general, but sometimes it could be dangerous,
causing big problems to the human health. From 5000 species of phytoplankton,
about 300 cause red tides and 40 produce toxins, which can pass to humans through
mollusks and fish (Hallegraeff et al., 1995).
There is no clear correlation between algal concentration and their harmful
effects. For example, Dinophysis and Alexandrium in very low concentration may
produce harmful toxins. Phaeocystis becomes harmful only in very high
concentrations. The prymnesiophyte Chrysochromulina produces not a big biomass,
but with a high toxic effect, whereas Phaeocystis is not toxic, but it becomes
dangerous in high levels of bloom.
The identification of toxic phytoplankton is becoming more and more important
with the increasing interest in cultivating mollusks and fish. A lot of toxic species like
Karenia breve, Alexandrium and Peridinium grow independently from the nutrient
growth and other species are stimulated from “cultural eutrophication” caused by
urban, industrial and agricultural discharge.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Phytoplankton species composition were analyzed in 74 samples collected
during the period 2006-2007. These samples were taken on the surface using dark
glass bottles. Three stations were selected based on the geomorphological
conditions of the sea or of the lagoon: 1-BM1 Nord, Manastiri Farm; 2-BM1 West,
Small Pallavraqi Farm; 3-BM1 South, Butrinti Farm (Fig. 1). The frequency of
sampling was two times per month.
Samples were preserved in alkaline lugol solution. The taxonomic list
(Utermöhl, 1958; EN 15204-2006) was prepared mainly according to cell counts and
photos obtained by the inverted microscope Zeiss Axiovert 25 and Axiovert 40 CFL,
equipped with a digital camera and also by cleaning diatoms using the acid methods
(Krammer & Lange-Bertalot, 1986-2001). Subsamples of 25 ml or 50 ml were
analysed after 24h and 28h of sedimentation. Enumeration was carried out using the
phase contrast at magnifications 400, 200 and 100x.
The data of potentially toxic algae were analysed by ANOVA: Single Factor,
Microsoft Excel program in order to adress relationships between different stations
and different months (enviromental variable).
Natura Montenegrina 9(3)
309
Figure 1. Map of the
transitional wetlands
of Butrinti, Saranda
distric, Albania. (1-
BM1 Nord, 2-BM1
West, 3-BM1 Sud)
(Google Earth, 2008)
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The study of phytoplankton in Butrinti lagoon started by Miho (1994) during
years 1987-91 and Miho & Wistkowski (2005) makes a review of diatoms of Albanian
costal wetlands, focused in the taxonomy and ecology; a checklist of about 430 taxa
was reported belonging to different coastal habitats (Butrinti, Karavasta, Lezha etc).
In this study we are focused on the most abundant potentially toxic taxa, which
are harmul for the other aquatic organisms and through the food chain, for humans:
Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima, P. seriata (both impact ASP in humans), Gonyaulax
spinifera, Dinophysis sacculus, D. fortii (impact DSP in humans) Alexandrium spp.
(impact PSP in humans), Karenia spp. (impact NSP in humans), Prorocentrum
minimum (impact VSP), Scripsiella spp. (impact anoxia in fish and invertebrate) etc.
Also, in this lagoon were present other potentially toxic species, like
Cerataulina pelagica (impact in molluscs, fishes, crustaceans), Akashiwo sanguinea
(impact ictiotoxicity), Lingulodinium polyedrum (impact DSP in humans), Ostreopsis
spp. (impact CFP) (Fig. 5) (Garces et al., 2001; Hallegraeff, 2002; Moestrup, 2004;
Stlekney, 2002; Mackenzie & Berket, 1997; Murakami et al., 1988; Mackenzie et al.,
2004; Lim et al., 2005; Emura et al., 2004; Mackenzie et al., 2005; Pompei et al.,
2003; Rhodes et al., 2005; Band-Schidt et al., 2005; Heil et al., 2005; Ciminiello et
al., 2003; Yasumoto et al., 1990).
Bushati et al.: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE. . .
310
The great bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima and P. seriata, mostly P.
seriata (average value 956 cell/ml and max. value 2x106 cell/L), in Jan.‘06, and
in Oct.’06 7x106 cell/L (Fig. 2; Tabs. 2, 3) shows the possibility of one species
blooms and of eutrophic tendency in this lake. The cause may be the warm and calm
weather, the limited circulation of waters, also the sufficient quantity of the nutrients.
Species like Gonyaulax spinifera, Dinophysis sacculus, D. fortii, Alexandrium
spp., Karenia spp., Prorocentrum minimum, Scripsiella spp., have not high
concentrations in Butrinti lake during that year, but they are present (Fig. 2; Tabs 2,
3).
Table 1: Average concentrations values (cell/ml) of toxic species per stations.
TOXIC SPECIES, cell/ml NORD WEST SOUTH
Pseudo-nitzschia seriata 315 353 237
Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima 48 73 81
Karenia spp. 43 3
Alexandrium spp. 01 1
Dynophysis fortii 11 1
Dynophysis sacculus 10 0
Gonyaulax spinifera 10 0
Prorocentrum minimum 22 2
Scripsiella spp. 10 10 20
Table 2: Average concentrations values (cell/ml) of toxic species per month
Toxic species, cell/ml Jan. Feb. March April May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
Pseud. seriata 956 457 236 73 73 12 119 168 107 628 381 212
Pseud. delicatissima 189 150 35 9 19 3 2 0 2 150 148 0
Karenia spp. 8 1 4 0 2 4 13 2 2 5 2 2
Alexandrium spp. 0 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
D. fortii 0 2 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
D. sacculus 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0
G. spinifera 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Pror. minimum 0 0 2 0 1 1 7 6 3 4 4 0
Scripsiella spp. 1 3 2 2 4 10 17 4 16 55 18 47
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311
Table 3: Maximum concentrations values (cell/ml) of toxic species per month
Toxic species,
cell/ml Jan.
06 Feb.
06 March
06 May
06 June
06 July
06 Aug.
06 Sep.
06 Oct.
06 Nov.
06 Dec.
06 Jan.
07 Feb.
07 March
07
A
pril
07
Pse. seriata 2050 1183 743 145 24 185 229 165 1426 487 285 124 92 48 172
P. delicatissima 500 491 81 39 10 10 0 5 474 417 0 13 13 0 34
Karenia spp. 16 5 16 3 6 26 6 4 20 6 12 5 0 0 0
Alexandrium spp. 0 0 19 0 0 4 0 2 0 3 0 0 3 0 3
D. fortii 0 10 12 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3
D. sacculus 0 0 2 2 0 1 3 0 0 3 1 0 0 2 0
G. spinifera 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pror. minimum 0 0 7 3 6 14 8 10 11 11 1 0 0 0 0
Scripsiella spp. 0 12 15 7 17 54 9 20 113 50 215 7 8 2 6
0 3 6 9 12 15
0
5
10
15
20
Max. abundance (cells l
-1
)
03691215
0
5
10
15
20
0 3 6 9 12 15
0
200
400
600
03691215
0
1
2
3
4
03691215
Months
0
10
20
30
03691215
0
0.4
0.8
1.2
1.6
03691215
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
Alexandrium spp.
Dinophysis fortii
Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima
Dinophysis sacculus
Gonyaulax spinifera
Pseudo-nitzschia seriata
Karenia spp.
Figure 2. Seasonal distribution of potentially toxic species (Y-values: 1-Jan.’06; 2-
Feb.’06; 3-March’06; 4-May’06; 5-June’06; 6-July’06; 7-Aug.’06; 8-Sep.’06; 9-Oct.’06; 10-
Nov.’06; 11-Dec.’06; 12-Jan.’07; 13-Feb.’07; 14-March’07; 15-April ’07) (mean values,
cell/ml).
Bushati et al.: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE. . .
312
Also, in the three stations, the concentrations of these species are higher for
P. delicatissima and P. seriata and lower for the others (Figs.3, 4, 5-4, 5-9; Tab. 1).
The dominance of Pennatea diatoms like genus Pseudo-nitzschia (Figure 5-4)
is an indicator of high nutritional conditions and of the eutrophic trend of this
environment (knowing also that species like Pseudo-nitzchia seriata, are the cause
of monospecies bloom in eutrophic enviroment like Kastela Bay, Split (Marasovic &
Puçher-Petkovic, 1987). Some present species like Prorocentrum minimum,
Gonyaulax spp., Pseudo-nitzschia seriata, P. delicatissima are typical of the
monospecies blooms in eutrophic enviroments (Marasovic & Puçher-Petkovic, 1987).
The bloom of P. seriata in January 2006 (Table 3, Figure 5) shows the possibility of
this occurrence in the lake. The cause of all these phenomena (monospecific blooms
and the eutrophic tendencies) is, supposedly, the calm and warm weather, the
limited circulation of water and the sufficient amount of nutrients.
Figure 3. Dynamics of the potentially toxic species (%), calculated after the average
values (cells/ml) accordind to stations.
The increase in number of species of dinoflagellates by the end of sring-
beginning of summer is a result of the harsh conditions and of the competition for
nutrients; dinoflagellates are more favored in calm aquatic environments where
water does not circulate, at high temperatures and where there is a significant lack
of nutrients (Tregouboff, 1957). Such conditions are the cause of dangerous
Natura Montenegrina 9(3)
313
monospecific blooms. Species of genus Karenia (impact NSP in humans) (Figure 5-
5), Alexandrium (impact PSP in humans), (Figure 5-3, 5-7) etc. and Gonyaulax
spinifera (impact DSP in humans) (Figure 5-1) etc., present in the phytoplankton of
the lake, are known as species that produce toxins which are often very dangerous
to other aquatic organisms and through the food chain reach the human beings.
Figure 4. Distribution of potentially toxic species along the three stations presented by
box-whisker. The box-whisker plot graph displays the minimum, maximum, median,
lower quartile (25%) and upper quartile (75%) for each species, for each station. The
caps at the end of each box indicate the extreme values of abundance cell/ml (minimum
and maximum), the box is defined by the lower and upper quartiles, and the line in the
center of the box is the median.
0
100
200
300
400
500
NWS
0
4
8
12
16
20
Abundance (cells l
-1
)
NWS
0
4
8
12
NWS
0
1
2
3
NWS
0
10
20
30
NWS
Stations
0
0.4
0.8
1.2
1.6
2
NWS
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
NWS
Alexandrium spp.
Dinophysis fortii
Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima
Dinophysis sacculus
Karenia spp.
Gonyaulax spinifera
Pseudo-nitzschia seriata
Bushati et al.: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE. . .
314
Figure 5: 1: Gonyaulax spinifera (Claparade & Lachmann) Diesing 1886; 2:
Dinophysis fortii; 3: Alexandrium pseudogonyaulax (Biecheler) Horiguchi ex Yuki &
Fukuyo 1992; 4: Pseudonitzschia spp.; 5: Karenia spp.; 6: Lingulodinium polyedrum
(Stein) Dodge 1989; 7: Alexandrium sp.; 8: Dinophysis sacculus; 9: Pseudonitzschia cf.
delicatissima (Cleve) Heiden; 10: Ostreopsis spp.
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During this study in the period January 2006-April 2007, in Butrinti lake there
have been blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia seriata, (impact ASP in humans) reached the
highest density (2050 cell/ml, 2 x 106cell/L) in January 2006 (Table 3; Figure 2, 5-
9). This is a conclusion drawn even by the higher results of biotoxins, ASP with
maximum value 5.4 mg/kg in January‘06; nevertheless we have to emphasize that
these ASP values are within the permitted limits. Furthermore, in October 2006,
the density of P. seriata is very high (1426 cell/ml 1.5 x 106 cell/L) (Figure 2; Table
3); these values coincide once again with high values of ASP= 5.3 mg/kg. We notice
almost the same development even for the species Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima,
(the cause of ASP in humans), only that the density values (cell/ml) are much lower.
Whereas other toxic species, present in the lake of Butrinti such as: Karenia sp.,
Dynophysis fortii, D. sacculus, Alexandrium sp. and Gonyaulax spinifera (Figure 5),
have not high densities during 2006-2007 (Table 1, 2, 3; Figure 2, 3, 4), so the
toxins produced by them were not found in bivalves (mollusks) and the values of
PSP and DSP have been negative during the same period.
In addition, we can mention other toxic species that have not been counted,
but that were found in the Butrinti Lake: Cerataulina pelagica, which causes
diseases in mollusks, crustaceans and fish; Akashiwo sanguinea, wich is thought to
cause ichthyotoxicity; Lingulodinium polyedrum, that causes DSP in humans.
In Butrinti Lake, the amount of organic matter increases in water as in
sediments, even though the living conditions are still good and make a favorable
habitat for the reproduction of mollusks, conclusion drawn by observing the vigorous
growth of mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis. The optimal depth for the growth of
mussel is about 2-3 m and the most favorable period is during spring and beginning
of summer. The depth of 0 - 4 m provides the best conditions for the growth of
mussel. In summer, the temperature is high, whereas in winter and spring the
salinity is relatively low, the level of O2 is also low. Growing mussel becomes
sometimes very difficult due to: blooms of potentially toxic algae like the one in 1987
(April – June) (Miho, 1994), period during which the growth rate of dinoflagellates
was high and from the production of H2S at the bottom layers and sometimes its
presence in the surface layers as a result of the anaerobic reduction processes of
sulphobacteria, reducing so the level of O2 present in the surface layers to a
minimum (Haxhiu & Mihali, 1993). These data should be taken into account in
aquaculture and for the survival of aquatic organisms in general.
During summer 2006 there has been an increase of toxic dinoflagellates
(Dinophysis sacculus, Alexandrium spp., etc.) which indicates the absence of the
circulation of water in these lagoons.
The distribution patterns of these potentially toxin producer species were
statistically analyzed by ANOVA, Single Factor, where the factor that may influence
the abundance of phytoplankton is the month and the station.
So, we state the null hypothesis,
Bushati et al.: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE. . .
316
Ho: the concentrations means (cell/L) of each potentially toxic species are
equal (between months when the factor is the month and between stations when the
factor is the station).
and the alternative hypothesis,
H1: at least one of the means is different.
According to the test result, when the influencing factor is the station, F
statistic is smaller for each potentially toxic species, than the critical value, F<Fcrit
(Table 4) (also, the P-value is greater than the significance level 0.05). So, we
accept the null hypothesis, so the concentrations (cell/L) of each potentially toxic
species have no statistically significant differences between the three stations.
Table 4: Values of F and Fcrit of toxic species when the factor is station.
TOXIC
SPECIES P. delica-
tissima P. seriata Alexand.
spp. Din. fortii Din.
sacculus Karenia spp.
F 0.281256 0.6412 0.42411 0.79206 1.265643 0.189853
Fcrit 3.125764 3.1258 3.12576 3.12576 3.125764 3.125764
Table 5: Values of F and Fcrit of toxic species when the factor is month.
TOXIC
SPECIES P. delica-
tissima P. seriata Alexand.
spp. Din. fortii Din.
sacculus Karenia spp.
F 6.1201 20.44398 1.47505 5.618983 1.015785 4.06512
Fcrit 1.8631 1.86317 1.86317 1.860242 1.863168 1.86316
But, when the influencing factor is the month, F statistic is greater than the
critical value, for potentially toxic species, except Alexandrium and Dinophysis
sacculus where the values of F and Fcrit. are close with each-other, but F<Fcrit
(Table 5) (also, the P-value is less than the significance level 0.05). So, we reject
the null hypothesis, that means that the concentrations of potentially toxic species
have significant differences between the months of the year, except Alexandrium
and Dinophysis sacculus, which have not significant differences.
CONCLUSIONS
It was the first report of the occurrence and dynamics of Alexandrium spp.,
Karenia spp. populations for the Butrinti lagoon.
The distribution of Pseudo-nitzschia seriata and Pseudo-nitzschia
delicatissima showed a stronger seasonality and was more correlated with winter
conditions than the others, which in turn exhibited a broader temporal distribution.
Natura Montenegrina 9(3)
317
Blooms of potentially toxic phytoplankton have a great importance in scientific
and ecologic studies as well as in the cultivation of the mussels. The potentially
toxic species observed in Butrinti lake are: Pseudo-nitzschia spp., Karenia spp.,
Alexandrium spp., Dinophysis spp., Gonyaulax spinifera etc. This is an indicator of
the stress this wetland systems undergo due to a combination of changes in climate
and problems with the circulation of water within the system. These conditions are
suitable only for some species that live and develop in very dense populations. In
January 2006 Pseudo-nitzschia spp. reached the highest density (algal bloom),
accompanied with high values of ASP, but within the permit limits.
Continuous monitoring system including potentially toxic phytoplankton,
biotoxins etc. would prevent the risks in aquatic orgasims and in humans.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was completed with the support from Food Safety and Veterinary Institute
and Prof. A. Miho, of Botanic Section, Tirana University, Albania, whom the first autors are
grateful.
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Original research article
Received: 30 July 2010
Bushati et al.: TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF POTENTIALLY TOXIC ALGAE. . .
320

Supplementary resources

  • ... Ostreopsis cf. ovata has been reported in Spain, in the Catalan and Andalusian coast and the Balearic Islands (Battocchi et al., 2010; Vila et al., 2001; Vila et al., 2012), in France (Cohu et al., 2011; Sechet et al., 2012; Tichadou et al., 2010), Croatia (Pfannkuchen et al., 2012), Albania (Bushati et al., 2010), Greece (Aligizaki and Nikolaidis, 2006), and along the Lebanese (AbboudAbi Saab, 1989) and north African coasts (Illoul et al., 2012; Ismael and Halim, 2012; Turki, 2005; Turki et al., 2006). In Italy, the first report on Ostreopsis cf. ...
    ... Ostreopsis cf. ovata has been reported in Spain, in the Catalan and Andalusian coast and the Balearic Islands ( Battocchi et al., 2010;Vila et al., 2001;Vila et al., 2012), in France ( Cohu et al., 2011;Sechet et al., 2012;Tichadou et al., 2010), Croatia ( Pfannkuchen et al., 2012), Albania ( Bushati et al., 2010), Greece ( Aligizaki and Nikolaidis, 2006), and along the Lebanese ( AbboudAbi Saab, 1989) and north African coasts ( Illoul et al., 2012;Ismael and Halim, 2012;Turki, 2005;Turki et al., 2006). In Italy, the first report on Ostreopsis cf. ...
  • ... In both of these studies, abundance of TPP was considered as the representative of the toxic effects. How- ever, in real plankton systems, there is no strict correlation between the toxicity and the abundance of toxic species [13,14]. Some species, like Phaeocystis, become toxic only when they are abundant. ...
    ... In this respect, our study is different from the previous ones. As we know that, in natural aquatic systems, toxic species can have significant variation in the toxic effects due to the changes in environmental and physical conditions [15][16][17] and the toxin production is not always related to high TPP abundance [13,14], thus, the toxic species abundance cannot always be the exact repre- sentative of the toxic effects. Accordingly, in the present study, we have considered a simple nutrient-phytoplankton model with toxic effects without explicitly considering the presence of toxic phyto- plankton. ...
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    The production of toxins by some species of phytoplankton is known to have several economic, ecological, and human health impacts. However, the role of toxins on the spatial distribution of phytoplankton is not well understood. In the present study, the spatial dynamics of a nutrient-phytoplankton system with toxic effect on phytoplankton is investigated. We analyze the linear stability of the system and obtain the condition for Turing instability. In the presence of toxic effect, we find that the distribution of nutrient and phytoplankton becomes inhomogeneous in space and results in different patterns, like stripes, spots, and the mixture of them depending on the toxicity level. We also observe that the distribution of nutrient and phytoplankton shows spatiotemporal oscillation for certain toxicity level. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • ... Among these, Ostreopsis ovata and Ostreopsis cf. siamensis have to be considered foreign and non-indigenous species in the Mediterranean Sea, led there by maritime traffic and spread because of the tropicalization even in temperate areas, in particular in the Adriatic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, in Lebanon and along North- African coasts [1,6,7,13,20,21,24,27]. In Italy, Ostreopsis ovata is a wide spread specie, while O. cf. ...
  • ... Lagoon waters are characterised by mesotrophic conditions, with some seasonal eutrophic peaks ( Bushati et al., 2010Bushati et al., , 2012Osmani and Peja, 2010;Çako et al., 2013;Kolitari et al., 2013). The water column is divided into two layers: i) the upper layer, located at depths from 0 to 7.5-8 m, which is characterized by relatively high dissolved oxygen concentrations (2-9 mg/l) and can be considered as oxygenated water body and, ii) the lower layer, in which oxygen is negligible or absent. ...
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    Aims and Scope This Journal is a multidisciplinary publication devoted to all field of Natural and Technical Sciences. The Editor of JNTS invites original contributions which should comprise previously unpublished results, data and interpretations. Types of contributions to be published are: (1) research papers; (2) shorts communications; (3) reviews; (4) discussions; (5) book reviews; (6) annonuncements. ABSTRACT Tectonic in origin, Butrinti Lagoon is of an ecological and economic importance (Ramsar Site). In addition, it is surrounded by forested hills, mountains, freshwaters and brackish marshes (Vurgu field in the north, Cimikos hill in the northeast , Bufi hills and Bufi Lake in the east, and Butrint and Ksamil National Park in the west). Sometimes it is called Lake Butrint due to its large surface area and its depth (maximum, 22 m; average, 14 m). Unfortunately, the Lagoon suffers from anthropogenic impact. In the present investigation, a new Drivers-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses (DPSIR) model was applied to provide a holistic analysis of the cause-effect relationship between the components, which interact in social, economic and environmental structures and functions. Much important research has been carried out in the area with subsequent publication of many noted papers very helpful for the present investigation. The information provided was rearranged into the DPSIR components. Results reported wetland reclamation; fishery, commercial aquaculture farming, and water pollution reduced physical, chemical, and biological properties of the Lagoon. Consequently, negative ecological and social economic impacts, i.e., dystrophic crises, reduction of fishery and mussel production, ecological quality degradation, biodiversity loss and reduction of aesthetic value of the landscape were unavoidable. Given the importance of the Lagoon and the consequences of anthropogenic impact, friendly environmental solutions like a reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides, adoption of biological practices on agricultural crops, discharge into the lagoon of well-oxygenated water of adjacent rivers, preservation of JNTS 97 the Butrint marshlands, and control the unregulated urban construction are crucial and of immediate importance along with public awareness.
  • ... Similar events have been reported in some Mediterranean lagoons, such as Orbetello Lagoon in Italy ( Lardicci et al. 1997) and Aitolikon Lagoon in Greece ( Leonardos and Sinis 1997;Papadas et al. 2009). Aquatic life in Butrint Lagoon is also impaired by blooms of the toxic Pseudo-nitzschia and Cerataulina pelagica during winter-spring and by blooms of dinoflagellates during summer-autumn ( Bushati et al. 2010Bushati et al. , 2012Hasani 2014). Such conditions have been observed over the last 50 years in the Venice Lagoon of Italy ( Facca et al. 2014), in Bizerte Lagoon of Tunisia ( Sahraoui et al. 2009), and in Nador Lagoon of Morocco ( Daoudi et al. 2012). ...
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