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Physical-chemical Factors Affecting Diversity and Distribution of Blue-green Algae in the Southern Caspian
Sarvenaz Bigham, Behrouz Zarei Darki, Rahman Patimar, Eisa Jorjani

Abstract
The effect of physical and chemical factors on the species diversity, distribution and density of blue-green algae was examined along the Nour shore of the Caspian Sea. Sampling was seasonal conducted during four sampling campaigns along four transects (A, B, C, D) each bearing three sampling sites (from 1 to 3) in February May, July and November 2014. As a result, 13 species of Cyanophyta division belonging to nine genera, were identified. The highest cyanophyte cell density was observed in summer, when 38 × 105 cells l-1 was noted. However, the results of variance analysis illustrated that there is no significant difference between Shannon’s diversity index in different season (P<0.05 and F=0.521). The spatial distribution of blue-green algae was non-uniform along the shore in the study area, but, along transects, the results proved that the highest density was usually at the first stations of each transect, except C. The most favorable conditions for blue-green species growth were in late spring and summer, when the water temperature increased. In addition, the environmental variables such as salinity and nutrients, especially, phosphates affect the species diversity, distribution and density of blue-green algae in the investigated area according to the Pearson correlation and linear regression.
Keywords
Phytoplankton, Cyanobacteria, Density, Pearson correlation, the Nour shore.

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