Dinoflagellate cysts in recent estuarine sediments from aquaculture sites of southern South Korea

Vera Pospelova, Sung Jae Kim

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64 Scopus citations


Assemblages of organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts collected from 23 surface sediment samples distributed in shallow estuarine waters along the southern South Korean coast show high abundance and diversity. A total of 47 cyst types, representing 27 genera of three orders, were identified and distribution maps of the most common taxa have been produced. The cyst assemblages were dominated by Spiniferites (Gonyaulax cf. spinifera), Brigantedinium spp. (Protoperidinium spp.), and Dubridinium spp. (Diplopsalis spp.). Total cyst concentration varies from 1000 to 8900 cysts per gram of dry sediment, with the highest values observed in the most southern sites of the Marine Fish Ranching Ground (MFRG) of Dongdo Bay, near Saryang Island, and the Outer part of Buk Bay. The Inner Buk Bay and the south-western sites of the MFRG were recognized to be subjected to eutrophication, as indicated by the elevated proportional increase in cysts of heterotrophic species of the genera Dubridinium, Polykrikos and Protoperidinium.Cysts of HAB's causing ichthyotoxic Cochlodinium polykrikoides were not found in Buk Bay, and were otherwise found in most of the studied sites in low proportions, except in Gosung Bay where it comprised up to 41% of the cyst assemblage. This is in agreement with previously observed blooms of C. polykrikoides in Gosung Bay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Micropaleontology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Dr. Choong-Jae Kim and Dr. Hee-Mock Oh for helpful comments on the initial identification of cysts of Cochlodinium polykrikoides. We particularly thank Maryse Henry (GEOTOP, UQAM) for providing us access to the environmental data. Financial support for this research was provided to VP by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) . Thoughtful reviews of the manuscript by Drs. K. Zonneveld, E. Thomas, and two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Aquaculture
  • Buk Bay
  • Cochlodinium polykrikoides
  • Dinoflagellate cysts
  • Dongdo Bay
  • Eutrophication
  • Geochemistry
  • Gosung Bay
  • Harmful algal blooms (HAB's)
  • South Korea


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