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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2014, Article ID 241410, 10 pages
Research Article

Variability in the Structure of Phytoplankton Assemblages in relation to Human Disturbance in Southern Coast of Tunisia

1Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, Sfax University, Soukra Street km 4, BP 802, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia
2National Institute of Sciences and Technologies of the Sea, Center of Sfax, BP 1035, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia

Received 23 February 2014; Revised 29 May 2014; Accepted 2 June 2014; Published 25 June 2014

Academic Editor: Robert A. Patzner

Copyright © 2014 Lotfi Mabrouk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the impact of industrial effluents on phytoplankton assemblage in southern Tunisia (Skhira). We specifically addressed changes in microalgae composition caused by this anthropogenic interference. A hierarchical sampling design was used to compare planktonic microalgae structure between one disturbed station and one control station. Samples were collected by scuba diving at 5 m depth in August 2012. A total of 76 microalgae taxa were identified. Dinoflagellates abundance was low in the disturbed station, especially Gonyaulacales and Prorocentrales due to P-limitation, whereas diatoms and cyanobacteria abundance were low in control station which is characterized by Si-limitation.