Skip to main content Accessibility help

High diversity of dinoflagellates in the intertidal sandy sediments of Wimereux (north-east English Channel, France)

  • Fernando Gómez (a1) (a2) and Luis F. Artigas (a1)


Benthic dinoflagellates collected in spring–summer 2010 and 2011 from intertidal sandy sediments of the shore of Wimereux (north-east English Channel, France) were examined by light microscopy, and some of them by scanning electron microscopy. High dinoflagellate species richness, 70 species, was evidenced when compared to the plankton observed in the coastal waters of the north-east English Channel. The greatest difficulty in performing accurate species identification mainly concerned the heterotrophic species of Amphidinium sensu lato, the laterally flattened species of Amphidiniopsis, as well as some heterotrophic species of Thecadinium. Several undescribed species are here illustrated, mainly within these genera. The differences in size between species of Herdmania and Sabulodinium suggest the occurrence of at least a second species for these monotypic genera. The species Amphidiniopsis hexagona, A. rotundata, A. uroensis and Sinophysis minima are reported for the first time in the Atlantic Ocean and on European coasts. Although these species were only previously known from the Pacific Ocean, they should not necessarily be considered as newcomers or invasive species due to the scarce coverage of the previous studies on sand-dwelling dinoflagellates.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: F. Gómez, Laboratory of Plankton Systems, Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo, Praça do Oceanográfico 191, sala 100, São Paulo, SP 05508-120, Brazil email:


Hide All
Al-Yamani, F.Y. and Saburova, M. (2010) Illustrated guide on the flagellates of Kuwait′s intertidal soft sediments. Safat: Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.
Balech, E. (1956) Étude des dinoflagellés du sable de Roscoff. Revue Algologique 2, 2952.
Brylinski, J.-M., Lagadeuc, Y., Gentilhomme, V., Dupont, J.-P., Lafite, R., Dupeuble, P.-A., Huault, M.-F., Auger, Y., Puskaric, E., Wartel, M. and Cabioch, L. (1991) Le «fleuve côtier»: un phénomène hydrologique important en Manche orientale. Exemple du Pas-de-Calais. Oceanologica Acta 11, 197203.
Consalvey, M., Paterson, D.M. and Underwood, G.J.C. (2004) The ups and downs of life in a benthic biofilm: migration of benthic diatoms. Diatom Research 19, 181202.
Dewarumez, J.-M., Gevaert, F., Massé, C., Foveau, A. and Grulois, D. (2011) Les espèces marines animales et végétales introduites dans le bassin Artois–Picardie. Wimereux: UMR CNRS 8187 LOG et Agence de l'Eau Artois–Picardie.
Dodge, J.D. and Lewis, J. (1986) A further study of armoured sand-dwelling marine dinoflagellates. Protistologica 22, 221230.
Dragesco, J. (1965) Étude cytologique de quelques flagelles mesopsammiques. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 6, 83115.
Flø Jørgensen, M., Murray, S. and Daugbjerg, N. (2004) Amphidinium revisited. I. Redefinition of Amphidinium (Dinophyceae) based on cladistic and molecular phylogenetic analyses. Journal of Phycology 40, 351365.
Gómez, F. (2008) Phytoplankton invasions: comments on the validity of categorizing the non-indigenous dinoflagellates and diatoms in European Seas. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56, 620628.
Gómez, F. (2012) A quantitative review of the lifestyle, habitat and trophic diversity of dinoflagellates (Dinoflagellata, Alveolata). Systematics and Biodiversity 10, 267275.
Gómez, F. and Artigas, L.F. (2013) The formation of the twin resting cysts in the dinoflagellate Dissodinium pseudolunula, a parasite of copepod eggs. Journal of Plankton Research 35, 11671171.
Gómez, F. and Souissi, S. (2007) The distribution and life cycle of the dinoflagellate Spatulodinium pseudonoctiluca (Dinophyceae, Noctilucales) in the north-eastern English Channel. Comptes Rendus Biologies 330, 231236.
Gómez, F. and Souissi, S. (2008) The impact of the 2003 summer heat wave and the 2005 late cold wave on the phytoplankton in the north-eastern English Channel. Comptes Rendus Biologies 331, 678685.
Gómez, F. and Souissi, S. (2010) The diatoms Odontella sinensis, Coscinodiscus wailesii and Thalassiosira punctigera in the European Atlantic: recent introductions or overlooked in the past? Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 19, 14241433.
Gómez, F., López-García, P. and Moreira, D. (2011) Molecular phylogeny of the sand-dwelling dinoflagellates Amphidiniopsis hirsuta and A. swedmarkii (Peridiniales, Dinophyceae). Acta Protozoologica 50, 255262.
Gómez, F., Moreira, D. and López-García, P. (2012) Sinophysis and Pseudophalacroma are distantly related to typical dinophysoid dinoflagellates (Dinophysales, Dinophyceae). Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 59, 188190.
Grattepanche, J.-D., Vincent, D., Breton, E. and Christaki, U. (2011) Microzooplankton herbivory during the diatom-Phaeocystis spring succession in the eastern English Channel. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 404, 8797.
Herdman, E.C. (1922) Notes on dinoflagellates and other organisms causing discolouration of the sand at Port Erin II. Proceedings and Transactions of the Liverpool Biological Society 36, 1530.
Herdman, E.C. (1924) Notes on dinoflagellates and other organisms causing discolouration of the sand at Port Erin IV. Proceedings and Transactions of the Liverpool Biological Society 38, 7584.
Horiguchi, T. & Pienaar, R.N. (1988) Ultrastructure of a new sand-dwelling dinoflagellate, Scrippsiella arenicola sp. nov. Journal of Phycology 24, 426438.
Horiguchi, T., Hayashi, Y., Kudo, H. and Hara, Y. (2011) A new benthic dinoflagellate Spiniferodinium palauense sp. nov. (Dinophyceae) from Palau. Phycologia 50, 616623.
Hubas, C., Lamy, D., Artigas, L.F. and Davoult, D. (2007) Seasonal variability of intertidal bacterial metabolism and growth efficiency in an exposed sandy beach during low tide. Marine Biology 151, 4152.
Janssen, M., Hust, M., Rhiel, E. and Krumbein, W.E. (1999) Vertical migration behaviour of diatom assemblages of Wadden Sea sediments (Dangast, Germany): a study using cryo-scanning electron microscopy. International Microbiology 2, 103110.
Kingston, M.B. and Gough, J.S. (2009) Vertical migration of a mixed-species Euglena (Euglenophyta) assemblage inhabiting the high-intertidal sands of Nye Beach, Oregon. Journal of Phycology 45, 10211029.
Korotenko, K.A. and Sentchev, A.V. (2011) Study turbulence in shallow tidal coastal zone. Oceanology 51, 114.
Larsen, J. (1985) Algal studies of the Danish Wadden Sea II. A taxonomic study of psammobious dinoflagellates. Opera Botanica 79, 1437.
Laza-Martínez, A., Orive, E. and Irati, M. (2011) Morphological and genetic characterization of benthic dinoflagellates of the genera Coolia, Ostreopsis and Prorocentrum from the south-eastern Bay of Biscay. European Journal of Phycology 46, 4565.
Margalef, R. (1978) Life-forms of phytoplankton as survival alternatives in an unstable environment. Oceanologica Acta 1, 493509.
Mitbavkar, S. and Anil, A.C. (2004) Vertical migratory rhythms of benthic diatoms in a tropical intertidal sand flat: influence of irradiance and tides. Marine Biology 145, 920.
Murray, S. and Patterson, D.J. (2002) The benthic dinoflagellate genus Amphidinium in south-eastern Australian waters, including three new species. European Journal of Phycology 37, 279298.
Murray, S., Nagahama, Y. and Fukuyo, Y. (2007) Phylogenetic study of benthic, spine-bearing prorocentroids, including Prorocentrum fukuyoi sp. nov. Phycological Research 55, 91102.
Murray, S.A., Garby, T., Hoppenrath, M. and Neilan, B.A. (2012) Genetic diversity, morphological uniformity and polyketide production in dinoflagellates (Amphidinium, Dinoflagellata). PLoS ONE 7(6), e38253.
Palmer, J.D. and Round, F.E. (1965) Persistent, vertical-migration rhythms in benthic microflora. I. The effect of light and temperature on the rhythmic behaviour of Euglena obtusa. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 45, 567582.
Paulmier, G. (1992) Catalogue illustré des microphytes planctoniques et benthiques des côtes Normandes. Rapports internes de la Direction des Ressources Vivantes de l'IFREMER.
Saunders, R.D. and Dodge, J.D. (1984) An SEM study and taxonomic revision of some armoured sand-dwelling marine dinoflagellates. Protistologica 20, 271283.
Schiller, J. (1933) Dinoflagellatae (Peridineae) in monographischer Behandlung. 10[3]. In L. Rabenhorst's Krytogamen-Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, pp. 1617.
Sentchev, A. and Yaremchuk, M. (2007) VHF radar observations of surface currents off the northern Opal coast in the eastern English Channel. Continental Shelf Research 27, 24492464.
Spilmont, N., Migné, A., Lefebvre, A., Artigas, L.F., Rauch, M. and Davoult, D. (2005) Temporal variability of intertidal benthic metabolism under emersed conditions in an exposed sandy beach (Wimereux, eastern English Channel, France). Journal of Sea Research 53, 161167.
Underwood, G.J.C., Boulcott, M., Raines, C.A. and Waldron, K. (2004) Environmental effects on exopolymer production by marine benthic diatoms: dynamics, changes in composition, and pathways of production. Journal of Phycology 49, 293304.
Yasumoto, T., Nakajima, I., Bagnis, R. and Adachi, R. (1977) Finding of a dinoflagellate as a likely culprit of ciguatera. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 43, 10211026.
Yoshimatsu, S., Toriumi, S. and Dodge, J.D. (2000) Light and scanning microscopy of two benthic species of Amphidiniopsis (Dinophyceae), Amphidiniopsis hexagona sp. nov. and Amphidiniopsis swedmarkii from Japan. Phycological Research 48, 107113.


High diversity of dinoflagellates in the intertidal sandy sediments of Wimereux (north-east English Channel, France)

  • Fernando Gómez (a1) (a2) and Luis F. Artigas (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed