|Seasonal distribution of ultraphytoplankton and heterotrophic prokaryotes in relation to abiotic variables on the north coast of Sfax after restoration |
(Article) Publié: Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 84 p.280-305 (2014)
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The Taparura project was set up to restore the north Sfax coast (Tunisia) by shutting down the northernphosphate plant responsible for chronic pollution and uncontrolled phosphogypsum dumping. The restorationeffect on coastal ultraphytoplankton (<10 lm) and heterotrophic prokaryotes was investigatedusing conventional flow cytometry over four successive seasons during 2009–2010. Cell concentrationswere generally higher than values reported for the open sea, both in the western and eastern Mediterraneanbasins. One striking point was that chl a concentration on the north Sfax coast was unchanged afterrestoration but was still one order of magnitude higher than in the Gulf of Gabès. Restoration of pH, followingthe shutdown of the phosphate processing plants on the north coast, appeared to reach normallevels for seawater during the study, whereas seawater acidification persisted on the south coast whereplants are still in operation. The largest ultraphytoplankton biomass was from an unknown cell group,whose identity and role needs to be established.