Algal indicator system of environmental variables in the Hadera River basin, central Israel

S. S. Barinova, M. Tavassi, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We identified 126 species of algae and cyanoprokaryotes from seven divisions in 21 samples of plankton and periphyton collected at 8 stations over the Hadera River in 2003 - 2005. The chlorophytes strongly prevail. Of these, 110 species are indicators of environmental conditions. The indicators of saprobity (Watanabe's scale) show a medium level of organic pollution. The saprobity index S (Sládecek's scale) varies from 1.73 to 2.80, corresponding to II - IV classes of water quality. The environmental pollution index (EPI) varies from 2 to 5 indicating a range of slightly to strongly polluted water of classes III and IV. The Water Ecosystem State Index, WESI = 0.6, testifies to a toxic impact on the algae in the middle reaches. The River Pollution Index for saprobity (RPIs = 2.35 - 2.42), temperature (RPIt = 17.1 in winter), conductivity (RPI? = 3.31 - 4.5), nitric nitrogen (RPI N = 15.3), and pH (RPI pH = 7.6 - 8.3) indicate alkaline, moderately mineralized waters with an occasional input of nitrates all year round, corresponding to classes III - IV of water quality, and the beta- to alfa-mesosaprobic self-purification zone. According to our results, the self-purification capacity of the Hadera River ecosystem is rather high. This study shows the potential of the algal bioindication method for aquatic ecosystems of Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Biosystems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are thankful to Dr Olga V. Anissimova and Dr Tomas Pavlichek who collaborated in collecting algal samples from the Hadera River basin. This work has been partly funded by the Israeli Ministry of Absorbtion and by the Russian Foundation of Basic Research, grant 03-04-49072.


  • Algae
  • Biodiversity
  • Bioindication
  • Ecology
  • Environmental assessments
  • Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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