Assessment of river-sea interaction in the danube nearshore area (Ukraine) by bioindicators and statistical mapping

Anastasiia Snigirova, Yuliya Bogatova, Sophia Barinova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a lack of understanding of the main drivers that form the picture of biological communities of transitional waters in deltaic ecosystems under the influence of terrestrial sources. Analysis of hydrochemical parameters in relation to phytoplankton communities in the Ukrainian part of the Danube coastal zone (in August 2018) is the focus of current work. The goal was to identify patterns in the distribution of environmental parameters (salinity and nutrients) in the area of the shipping channel through the Bystry arm, as well as to assess the state of water quality. The ecological bioindicators approach using modern statistical methods, and ecological mapping shows sufficient achievements in interpreting the results. The indicators of salinity (mesohalobes) had better describe the character of the transportation of fresh riverine waters than salinity gradient. The composition of 35 indicator phytoplankton species corresponds to 3 and 4 water quality classes in the coastal zone. High N:P ratios showed an imbalance in the ecosystem as an indicator of production and destruction processes. Statistical maps of the indicator species distribution revealed the river current’s influence on the nearshore water mass. Ecological maps of surface and bottom variables show various environmental impacts resulting from dredging in the shipping channel and excavated soil dumping. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and statistical maps revealed two pools of factors with oppositely directed effects on phytoplankton: salinity, on one hand, and nutrients, on the other. Miozoa and Chlorophyta have an opposite interaction with salinity and oxygen and can be ecosystem change indicators in further analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number310
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Danube Delta
  • Ecological mapping
  • Nearshore area
  • Nutrients
  • Phytoplankton
  • Transformation zones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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