Free-living dinoflagellates of the central Red Sea, Saudi Arabia: Variability, new records and potentially harmful species

Danang Prabowo, Susana Agusti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The diversity of free-living dinoflagellates in the coastal areas of the central Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, was studied from April 2016 to March 2017. A total of 106 dinoflagellates belonging to 36 genera, 20 families and 7 orders were identified and characterized using light microscopy. Of these, 47 taxa were potentially harmful, and 60 taxa were recorded for the first time from the Red Sea. The unexpectedly high species diversity, including new records, was due to the benthic species. The monthly variability of planktonic species records exhibited negative correlations with temperature and salinity, although in most cases, the links between them were insignificant. Subsequently, the dinoflagellates checklist for the entire Red Sea was updated and showed that there were currently 395 taxa and 66 genera. The results of this study provide a solid foundation for future studies of dinoflagellate biodiversity in the Red Sea, particularly for benthic and harmful species.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-648
Number of pages20
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1973-31-01, BAS/1/1072-01-01
Acknowledgements: This study was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through center competitive fund (FCC/1/1973-31-01) and baseline research fund (BAS/1/1072-01-01) to SA. We are particularly grateful to Mr. Juan Martinez de La Cruz Ayala for his assistance during the samplings, and to the staffs at KAUST Coastal and Marine Resources (CMOR) Core Laboratory for providing transportation and technical support. We thank Dr. Elisabeth M. Lutanie (KAUST Research Publication Services) for checking the manuscript.


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