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Naturwissenschaften. 1999 Nov;86(11):525-9.

Eolian dust affects phytoplankton in the waters off kuwait, the arabian gulf

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Mariculture and Fisheries Department, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, P.O. Box 1638, Salmiya, 22017 Kuwait.


Summer phytoplankton assemblages from surface waters off Kuwait were enriched with levels of eolian dust (10(5), 10(6), and 10(7) mg/m(3)), similar to seasonal dust fallout for this region. Algal growth was positive and dose dependent. Highest biomass was up to 527 &mgr;g chlorophyll a/l on day 5. The maximum doublings of biomass per day were 0.64, 0.77, and 1.42, corresponding to 10(5), 10(6), and 10(7) mg/m(3) enrichment and were significantly higher than the 0.56 for control. Changes in the phytoplankton species composition occurred with changes in biomass, with small algae dominating peak populations. It is suggested that through enrichment of trace elements via eolian dust, a high level of phytoplankton biomass and growth can be sustained in this arid environment.


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