Our examination of net phytoplankton collected from coastal localities in Odisha on the east coast of India, includingChilka Lake, Chandrabhaga Beach and Puri, in December 2015, revealed the overwhelming dominance of Thalassiosiramala, a gelatinous colony-forming, potentially harmful, marine planktonic diatom. The large numbers of cells allowed us toobserve details of the cingulum not previously reported. The epicingulum is composed of four open bands including anareolated valvocopula, an areolated copula and two non-areolated pleurae. The immature hypocingulum includes at leasttwo bands. Openings of alternate bands are arranged in a dextral pattern. Based on previous reports from the west coast andour current findings, Thalassiosira mala appears to be a common, widely distributed primary producer in Indian coastalwaters. The presence of morphologically similar species, especially those less than 20 micro-m in diameter, underscores the importanceof reliable species-level taxonomy using appropriate techniques for meaningful ecological and biogeographic considerationsand for monitoring potentially harmful algae in India’s economically important coastal waters. Published reportssuggest that Thalassiosira mala is widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters, present in 26 of 232 ecoregions and18 of 62 provinces recognized in a recent classification of coastal marine ecoregions.
Volume 45, 2020
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