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Algal communities in the polluted lower Jordan River, Israel

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The lower Jordan River stretches from the outlet of Lake Kinneret to the Dead Sea (190 km meandering distance) and is one of the most polluted rivers in Israel. In order to estimate the aquatic ecosystem of the northern part of the lower Jordan River (between the outlet of Lake Kinneret and Hussein Bridge), we used algal communities as biological indicators to monitor pollution levels in two seasons, rainy and dry (November 2005 and May 2007). In two different seasons, we found 152 species of plankton and periphyton from 7 divisions, which were mostly dominated by diatoms (Bacillariophyceae) accompanied by green algae (Chlorophyta) and blue-green algae (Cyanoprokaryota), and euglenoids (Euglenophyta). In the ecological analysis we revealed groups of freshwater algae according to pH, salinity, and saprobity as well as temperature, streaming, and oxygenation.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa ; 2: Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa ; 3: Israel Nature and Parks Authority


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