Diversity and ecology of algae from the Nahal Qishon river, northern Israel

S. S. Barinova, O. V. Anissimova, E. Nevo, M. M. Jarygin, S. P. Wasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 59 samples of periphyton and phytoplankton collected in 2002-2003 from the Nahal Qishon (Qishon River), northern Israel, we found 178 species from seven divisions of algae and cyanoprocaryotes. Diatoms, clorophytes, and cyanoprocaryotes prevail. Nitzschia and Navicula (Bacillariophyta) are the most abundant. Most of the species are cosmopolitan or widespread, except Lagynion janei (Chrysophyta), which is endemic for the Mediterranean Realm. About 17% of species (26) are new for Israel and five of them represent the first recorded genera: Crinalium endophyticum Crow, Actinocyclus normanii (Gregory) Hustedt, Rhizoclonium hieroglyphicum (Agardh) Kütz (Chlorophyta), Lagynion janei Bourelly, and Stylococcus aureus Chodat. Most of them come from a rare riverine assemblage with red alga Audouinella pygmea, as well as from the estuarine assemblage. Alkaliphiles predominate among the indicators of acidity, with few acidophiles confined to the communities under the impact of industrial wastes. Among the indicators of salinity, most numerous are the oligohalobien- indifferents and species adapted to a moderate salinity level. The relative species richness of ecological groups and the indices of saprobity are correlated with changes in conductivity, pH, and N-nitrate concentration. Indicators of organic pollution fall in the range of betameso- to alfamesosaprobic self-purification grades. Our studies show ecological significance of the Nahal Qishon as a model for a strongly disturbed aquatic ecosystem in the coastal zone of eastern Mediterranean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Biosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Gavrilov for his financial support of work on the Scanning Electron Microscope. We are also thankful to Dr Thomas Pavlicˇek, who collaborated in collecting algal samples from the Nahal Qishon basin. This work has been partially funded by the Russian Foundation of Basic Research, grant 03-04-49072.


  • Diversity
  • Ecology
  • Freshwater algae
  • Israel
  • Phytogeography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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