Bacillariophyceae Distribution and Water Quality in Estuarine-Mangrove Environments: The Commonest Phytoplankton in Musi Estuary, Indonesia
This study reveals the distribution of Bacillariophyceae in estuarine-mangrove which is mainly influenced by the quality of the waters. The main component analysis approach between variables is critical in this study because it determines the environmental characteristics in each estuarine zone. Estuarine-mangrove environments have different physical-chemical dynamics compared to other types of waters, one of which is Musi Estuary, located on the coast of South Sumatra. The aquatic environment of the Musi Estuary is influenced by tidal fluctuations that bring nutrients from inland waters and mangrove litter. This condition is perfect for the phytoplankton habitat, which plays an essential role in the ecological processes of waters as primary producers. This study aims to examine the diversity of Bacillariophyceae phytoplankton in the mangrove estuary environment and its possible role in estuarine ecology. Data were collected at ten observation stations in July, including samples of phytoplankton and water physical-chemical data such as pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, water brightness, current speed, nitrates, and phosphates. Quantitative measurement of phytoplankton was performed using an Olympus CX23 light microscope at 100X magnification, while data were analyzed using PCA and Bray-Curtis similarity analysis. Water environment conditions were measured in a stable range in each zone except for salinity and brightness. Furthermore, only Bacillariophyceae were observed in all observation zones dominated by the Skeletonema genus. It is a dominant presence, and its abundance determined its role as a significant primary producer in the estuary outer zone near the sea. This study implicitly revealed the existence of Skeletonema in influencing ecological processes in estuary mangrove waters.
Keywords: biodiversity, species, Musi Estuary, principal components analysis, phytoplankton.
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