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Algal pigment diversity in coastal sediments from kerguelen sub antarctic islands reflecting local dominance of green algae euglenoids and diatoms


, : Algal pigment diversity in coastal sediments from kerguelen sub antarctic islands reflecting local dominance of green algae euglenoids and diatoms. Polar Biology 11(7): 439-448

High Performance Liquid Chromatography analysis of algal pigments from inter- and subtidal (deep and shallow) sediments from the Kerguelen Islands [Indian Ocean] showed clear differences in the pigment composition at the different stations. High concentrations of chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin were present at all locations, indicating significant diatom densities. Chlorophyll b was detected at all sites. At one station the other green algal pigments were also present; here green algae contributed more to chlorophyll a concentrations than diatoms, as estimated by using pigment ratios and microscopic observations. At another location chlorophyll b was associated with a high concentration of diadinoxanthin, indicating an abundance of euglenoids. This indicates that chemotaxonomy can be powerful tool in microphytobenthos studies since enumeration of living cells are difficult as many algae are attached to sediment particles (epipsammic algae). Ways of diagenesis, carotenoid degradation and the role of grazing are briefly mentioned. Phaeophorbide a-like pigments were the most significant chlorophyll a degradation products, with concentrations up to 110 .mu.g .cntdot. g-1 dry weight sediment, i.e. 10 times the chlorophyll a concentration. Some taxonomic estimations, based on pigments ratios, and their limits, are discussed.

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