DIATOMS IN KHOR AL-ZUBAIR MUDFLATS AND KHOR ABDULLAH LAGOONS, SOUTHERN IRAQMAITHAM A. AL-SHAHEEN AND DAWOOD S. ABDULLAH
Present study considers the first search on the epipelic diatoms at Khor Al-Zubair and Khor Abdullah lagoons, Southern Iraq. In total, 78 taxa belonging to 44 genera were identified during the current study, encountered taxa was dominant by genus Nitzschia represented by 10 species followed by Navicula which has 8 species and six species for Gyrosigma. A few species are a centric form, while the rest are in pennate form. Morever about a half of the encountered species are marine form (52%), followed by brackish to marine species consist of 37%, while the freshwater form comprises just 5%, and finally 6% for other environmental favourites species. Epipelic diatoms encountered in the present study consist more 70% of all identification taxa, whereas the rest consist 21% of planktonic taxa, epiphytic (7%) and few percentages for other habitat. Three new species including Biremis sigmoidea, Cocconeis sawensis and Frickia lewisiana were recorded first time in both the lagoons.