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JournalSci.Res.Dev.,2005/2006,Vol.

10,7382

DiatomsandDinoflagellatesofanEstuarineCreekinLagos.
I.C.Onyema*,D.I.NwankwoandT.OduleyeDepartmentof
MarineSciences,
UniversityofLagos,AkokaYaba,Lagos,
Nigeria.

ABSTRACT
ThediatomsanddinoflagellatesphytoplanktonofanestuarinecreekinLagoswasinvestigatedattwostationsbetween
JulyandDecember,2004.Atotalof37speciescentricdiatom(18species)pennatediatoms(12species)and7species
of dinoflagellates were recorded. Values of species diversity (1 14), abundance (10 800 individuals), species
richness(02.40)andShannonandWeinerindex(02.8f)werehigherinthewetperiod(JulyOctober)thanthedry
season(NovemberDecember).ThesebioindiceswerehigherinstationAthanBformostofthestudyperiod.Almostall
thediatomsanddinoflagellatesrecordedforthisinvestigationhavebeenreportedbyearlierworkersfortheLagoslagoon,
associatedtidalcreeksandoffshoreLagos.Thesourceofrecruitmentofthelagoonaldinoflagellatesisprobablythe
adjacentseaasmostreportedspecieswerewarmwateroceanicforms.
Keywords:diatoms,dinoflagellates,plankton,hydrology,salinity.

INTRODUCTION
InNigeriatherearefewstudiesonthediatomsanddinoflagellatesofmarineandcoastalaquaticecosystems.Someof
thesestudiesareOlaniyan(1957),Nwankwo(1990a),NwankwoandKasumuIginla(1997),Nwankwo(1991)and
Nwankwo(1997).OtherworkssuchasChindahandPudo(1991),Nwankwo(1986,1996),Chindah(1998),Kadiri(1999),
Onyemaetal.(2003,2007),Onyema(2007,2008)haveinvestigatedphytoplanktonassemblagesandpointedoutthe
dominanceofdiatoms.
Diatoms and dinoflagellates are important components of the photosynthetic organisms that form the base of the
aquaticfoodchain(Davis,1955;Sverdropetal.,2003).AccordingtoNwankwo(1990b)dinoflagellatesaresecondin
importance only to the diatoms as basic food producers in the plankton of marine waters. Unlike diatoms most
dinoflagellate species are planktonic and live in salt water, although there are many freshwater species. Under
favourableconditionsbothdiatomsanddinoflagellatesmayformbloomsthatmayresultindeleteriousconsequencesto
otherbiosystems. For instance Nwankwo et al. (2003) have already reported 3 diatoms and 4 dinoflagellate
speciesasnoxiousalgaeforthecoastalwatersofsouthwesternNigeriawithreportedharmfuleffectsintheregion.

^Correspondingauthor.Email:iconyeama@yahoo.com.au
73

1C.Onyema,D.INwankwoandT.Oduleye

ExistingrecordsonthealgalfloraofsouthwesternNigeriacreeksarequitelimited.Theavailablereportsareon
theperiphyticandepiphyticalgaeoftheOgbecreek(NwankwoandAkinsoji1988;NwankwoandAmuda,1993)the
epipelicalgaeoftheIjoracreek(Onyema,2007;OnyemaandNwankwo,2006)andtheplanktonoftheAbuleAgege
creek(EmmanuelandOnyema,2007).ThereisadearthofliteratureonanyaspectoftheecologyoftheFiveCowrie
creek.Theaimofthisstudywastoinvestigatethecompositionanddistributionofdiatomsanddinoflagellatesspecies
withintheFiveCowriecreek.Thisinformationmayhavescientificandeconomicimplications.

MATERIALSANDMETHODS
StudySite
TheFiveCowriecreekisoneofthenumerousadjoiningcreekstotheLagoslagoon.Itisconnectedtothelagoon
attwoendsandtheKuramocreekthatdrainstheKuramolagoon.TheFiveCowriecreekisflankedatbothsidesby
highlyindustrializedanddenselypopulatedurbansetting.ThecreekseparatesLagosislandandIkoyifromVictoriaIsland.
ItisconnectedtoLagoslagoonattheLagoshabourandattheextremeoftheeasternpartofIkoyiatMoba.Thecreekhas
an approximate length of 7km and stretches from about Latitude 6 26' N, Longitude 3 24' E to Latitude 6 26' N,
Longitude327'E,Thecreeksbanksatmanypointsarecontinually

Fig.1:PartoftheLagoslagoonshowingtheFiveCowriecreek.

DiatomsandDinoflagellatesofanEstuarineCreekinLagos

75

subjectedtohighlevelsoftopographicalmodificationinresponsetotheconflictoflanduseandthedireneedofit.At
hightide,waterentersintothecreekthroughtheLagoshabourend,whereasatlowtidewaterisdrainedfromthe
easternpart ofthe Lagos lagoonthrough thecreekto the habourenroute to thesea.Thecreekexperiencessemi
diurnal tidal influence from the harbour and freshwater discharges from the adjoining urban areas and the lagoon.
According to Hill and Webb (1958) tidal flow in the Five Cowrie creek is the fastest anywhere in the Lagos lagoon
system.Theregionduringthecourseofayearexperiencestwoseasons,thewetseason(MayOctober)withashort
drybreakusuallyinAugust,andthedryseason(NovemberApril).
Waste discharges from the Lagos island, Ikoyi and Victoria island find their way unabated into the creek. Floating
garbage/debrisandoilbasedischargesespeciallyfromcommercialboatoperatorsareveryfrequentsightswithinthe
creek. Habour and port related activities and their associated waste input also impact the creek. The region is
exposedtohighlevelhumanandvehicular(motorcars,boatandship)traffic.
CollectionofSamples
Sampleswerecollectedforsixmonths(JulyDecember2004)usinga55ummeshsizestandardplanktonnettiedunto
amotorizedboatandtowedatlowspeed(<4Knots)andattwostations(stationsAandB)eachtimefor5minutes.
Thefiltratefromtheplanktonnetaftercollectionwastransferredinto200mlproperlylabeledplasticcontainerswith
screwcapandpreservedin4%unbufferedformalin.
BiologicalAnalysis
Inthelaboratoryonedrop,fivedifferenttimesforeachsamplewasinvestigatedatdifferentmagnifications(X100
andX400)usingaWildMilbinocularmicroscopewithacalibratedeyepiece.Themicrotransectdropcountmethod
describedbyLackey(1938)wasemployed.SinceeachdropisO.lmlandtwodropswereusedforeachsamplemount,
resultsonabundanceweremultipliedby5togivemevaluesasnumbersoforganismsperml.Appropriatetextswere
usedtoaididentification(Smith1950;Davis,1955;Hendey,1958,1964;NewellandNewell,1966;Wimpenny,1966;
Patrick and Reimer, 1966, 1975; Whitford and Schmacher, 1973; Nwankwo, 1990a, 2004a; Bettrons and Castrejon,
1999).
CommunityStructureAnalysis
Thefollowingdiversityindiceswereusedforbiologicaldataanalysis.
SpeciesRichnessIndex(d)
TheSpeciesrichnessindex(d)accordingtoMargalef(1951).Theequationbelowwasapplied
andresultswasrecordedtotwodecimalplaces.
d=S l InN
where d = Species richness index, S = Number of species in a population and N = Total number of individuals in S
species.

76

ICOnyema,D.INwankwoandT.Oduleye

Menhinick'sIndex(D)(Ogbeibu,2005).
D=S

S=NumberofspeciesinapopulationandN=TotalnumberofindividualsinSspecies.
ShannonandWeinerdiversityindex(Hs)
ShannonandWeiner(1963)diversityindex(Hs)wasdeterminedbytheequation:
Hs=IPiInPi
whereHs=DiversityIndex,I=Countsdenotingtheithspeciesrangingfrom1nandPi=Proportionthatthe
ithspecies representsintermsof numbersofindividualswithrespecttothetotalnumberofindividualsinthe
samplingspaceaswhole.
CoefficientofSimilarity(S)
f
Thisisthemeasureofthedegreeofsimilaritybetweenspeciesintwonabitats.Thisindexwas
obtainedusingtheequation(Ogbeibu,2005).
S=__2CA+B
whereS=Indexofsimilaritybetweentwosamples,A=NumberofspeciesinsampleA,B=Numberofspeciesin
sampleBandC=Numberofspeciescommontobothsamples.

RESULTS
Table1showsthecompositionandabundance(cellsperml)ofdiatomsanddinoflagellatesoftheFivecowriecreek
fromJulytoDecember,2004.Bioindicesoftheoccurrenceofthesespeciesarealsoincluded.
Atotalof37specieswererecordedfromthisstudy.Thediatomswererepresentedby30specieswiththecentric
forms (18 species) better represented in terms of taxa than the pennate forms (12 species). Chaetoceros (5
species), Biddulphia (4 species) and Thalassionema (3 species) were the most represented genera. Species of
Biddulphiaweremorefrequentlyrepresentedintermsofoccurrence.Thecentricformsoccurredthroughout
thestudywhilethepennateformsshowedhigherrepresentationduringrainyseasonthanthedryseason.The
dinoflagellateswererepresentedby7specieswiththegenusCeratiummakingup6species.
Valuesofspeciesdiversity(115),abundance(10800individuals),speciesrichness(02.40)andShannonand
Weiner (0 2.80) indices were higher in the wet season (July October) than the dry season (November
December).ThesebioindiceswerecomparativelyhigherinstationAthanBformostofthestudyperiod.
Similarityindexfollowedasimilartrendastheotherbioticindiceswithregardtotemporalvariations.Values
forthisindex(00.56)werehigherinthewetseasons(JulyOct)thanthe

DiatomsandDinoflagellatesofanEstuarineCreekinLagos

77

dryseason(NovemberDecember).Hencethestationsweremoresimilarintermsofspeciescompositioninthewet
season.
Table1:Compositionandabundanceofphytoplankton(cellsperml)fromthefiveCowriecreekbetween
JulyandDecember2004.
__________________________JUL
TAXA
DIVISION:BACILLARIOPHYTA
CLASS:BACILLARIOPHYCEAE
ORDERI:CENTRALES
BacteriastrumhyalinumCastracane
BiddulphiaauritaLyngbye
BiddulphiabiddulphianaSraBayer
BiddulphiaregiaSchultze
BiddulphiasinensisGreville
Campylodiscussp
CoscinodiscusradiatusEhrenberg
ChaetocerosatlanticumCleve
ChaetocerosconstrictionGran
ChaetocerosdecipensCleve
ChaetoceroslorenzianumGrunnow
ChaetocerosradicansSchutt
CyclotellameneghinianaKutzing
GuinardiaflaccidaCastracane
Melosiramoniliformis(O.FM)Agardh
Melosiranumuloides(Dillw)Agardh
PodosirastelligerBailey
RhizosoleniastyliformisBrightw

10
20102020
1606010
10
904020
10
20
30
10
100204030
501010
2010
101010

ORDERII:PENNALES
GyrosigmabalticumEhrenberg
LicmophoralyngbeyeiKutzing
Licmophorasp
NaviculaexpansaHaglestoin
NaviculacauspidataKutzing
NitzschiasigmoideaNitzsch
Pinnulariasp
SynedracrystallinaKutzing
SynedraulnaNitzsch
ThalassionemafrauenfeldiiGrunow
ThalassionemalongissimaGrunow

10
60
7010
80
50
10
10
1104030
306010
805010
9040

AUGSEPTOCTNOVDEC
A
B
A
B
A
B
A
B
A
B

1010
402010
102010.10
2020
106030103010

l.C.Onyema,D.INwankwoandT.Oduleye
130100

50

2010

JUL
ThalassionemanitzschiodesGrunow

DIVISION:PYRRHOPHYTACLASS:DINOPHYCEAECeratiumfususEhrenbergCeratiumlineatumEhrenbergCeratium
20

10

20
macrocerosEhrenbergCeratiummassilenseGourretCeratiumtrichocerosEhrenbergCeratiumvulturCleveDinophysis
caudataKent
340 17 15 7 8 230 110 390 350 360 340
NumberofSpeciesAbundance
14630
SpeciesMargalefsSpeciesRichness 2.020.56 0.54 800 430 190 150 0.29 0 0.44 0.51 0.49 0.54
047 2.40 2.31 1.41 1.40 017 03? 037 0.42 039 0.47
(D)

060 07? 051 065


0.37 0.46 0.39 0.45
ShannonAndWeiner(Hs)Similarity 2.800.35 1.60 1.09 1.03 1.21 0.82 0.28 0

0.27
0.17

0.56
0.33
0
Index(S)

DISCUSSION
Agoodnumberofthediatomsanddinoflagellatesrecordedforthisinvestigationhavebeenreportedbyearlier
workersfortheLagoslagoonandassociatedtidalcreeks(Nwankwo,1988,1996,1998;OnyemaandNwankwo,
2006;NwankwoandOnyema2003).LikefortheLagoslagoonitispossiblethattidalseawaterincursionandflood
waterinputsareimportantsourcesofrecruitmentfordiatomsanddinoflgellatesspeciesintheFiveCoweriecreek
(Onyema,2007). Common diatom taxa for the Lagos lagoon also encountered in his study include Biddulphia
aurita, Biddulphia regia, Biddulphia sinensis, Coscinodiscus radiatus, Cyclotella meneghiniana, Melosira moniliformis,
Melosiranumuloides,Gyrosigmabalticum,Nitzschiasigmoidea,SynedracrystallinaandSynedraulna(Nwankwo,1988,
1996).
ThepresenceofChaetoceros,Biddulphia,ThalassionemaandRhlzosolenlaspeciesprobablypointtotheirsourceof
recruitment. These taxa are known marine forms in the zone (Nwankwo and Onyema, 2003). According to
Nwankwo(1986),salinityandfloodwaterconditionsareknowntoregulatethealgalcompositionandabundance
intheLagoslagoon.AsimilarsituationlikelyexistsfortheFiveCowriecreek.ItisimportanttonotethatAulacoseira
granulataanditsveritiescommonfor mostof the phycological studiesintheregion (Nwankwo,1988,1996;
Onyema, 2007; Onyema et al., 2003, 2007) was absent in the creek plankton. Nwankwo (1988) has already
associatedthesespeciestoprimarilyfreshwaterconditionsassociatedwiththewet

79
DiatomsandDinoflagellatesofanEstuarineCreekinLagos
season and much reduced salinities. According to Nwankwo and Akinsoji (1989) diatoms are known to
dominatetheplanktonalgaeoftheLagoslagoon.
Nwankwo(1997)isoftheviewthatwithregardtotheLagoslagoonthereisanincreaseinthedinoflagellatecell
numbersduringperiodsofhighsalinityandlownutrientlevelsandsuggestsapossiblerelationship.Nwankwo
(1990b)alsosuggestedthatthesourceofrecruitmentofthelagoonaldinoflagellates(Lagoslagoon)inthe
adjacentseasincemostofthereportedspecieswerewarmwateroceanicforms.
ForinstanceaccordingtoNwankwo(1990b),moredinoflagellateswerefoundinthemarineneriticandhigh
brackish water zone of the Lagos lagoon and the number of species decreased in the stations further inland.
Species such as Ceratium macroceros, C. massilense and C. tripos were the most wide spread species in the
lagoon. Dinophysis caudatta recorded for this study has been recorded by Nwankwo (1990b). According to
Nwankwo (1990b) it could be inferred that the source of recruitment of the lagoonal dinoflagellates is the
adjacentseasincemostreportedspecieswerewarmwateroceanicforms.Amongthedinoflagellates,thegenus
Ceratiumformedagoodnumberoftherecordedspecies(6taxa).Nwankwo(1988)recoreded8speciesofCeratium
whichalsodominatedthedinoflagellatesinthatstudy.Similarly,Nwankwo(1990b)alsotecoKkdIStax&o
Cra?iumfonsag^significantpartofthetotaldinoflagellates(28taxa).Thedinoflagellatespeciesrecordedfor
this study have been previously recored for the region (Nwankwo, 1988, 1991, 1997, Nwankwo 2004,
Nwankwoetal.,2003,Onyemaetal.,2003,2007).Futhertothis,theentirecommunityofdinoflagellatesrecorded
byNwankwoandOnyema(2003)wereallofthegenusCeratium.CommondinoflagellateformsincludeCeratium
fusus,CeratiummacrocerosandDinophysiscaudata.
TherelativelyhigherspeciesrichnessrecordedatstationAascomparedtothatofstationBthroughoutthe
samplingperiodcouldbeduetothemixtureofdifferentcommunitiesadjoiningattheformer.Itispossiblethat
values for similarity index were higher in the wet than dry season because of the sourcing, dislodging and
floodwatermixingsassociatedwiththerains.ThiswasparticularlyevidentinstationAinJulyandAugust.The
dry season probably with increasing salinity created environmental gradients. According to Onyema et al.
(2003)thedilutingandenrichingeffectsoffloodwaters,inflowofseawaterandtheexistenceofenvironmental
gradientsgovernthedistributionofLagoslagoonbiota.
Nwankwo (2004b) and Nwankwo and Akinsoji (1989) are of the view that during the rains vertical and
horizontalgradientscreatedespeciallyhithedryseasonarebrokendownwiththecomingoftherains.Similar
controllingfactorsmayberesponsibleforhighervaluesforallthebioindicesusedinthewetthandryseason.
OnyemaandNwankwo(2006)reportedthatfortheepipeliccommunityoftheIjoracreek,theraindropsandthe
scouring effect of flood waters may be key limiting factors to the development of the endemic epipelic
communities.Hencethedistributionofdiatomsanddinoflagellatesspeciescouldbesaidtobelargelyseasonalin
theFiveCowriecreek.
Fromthisstudy,itmaybepossibletodenotethatobservedpresenceorabsenceofdiatomordinofagellate
speciesmaynotindicateanyparticulartypeofpollutionorzoneofcontamination

I.C.Onyema,D.INwankwoandT.Oduleye

butmaybeasaresultofthechangingphysicalenvironment.ForinstanceaccordingtoOnyemaefal.,(2003)increasing
tidalinfluenceoccasionedbydryconditionsisknowntoelevatesalinityandcreateconditionssuitableforthesurvivalof
marinespeciesintheLagoslagoon.

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