African Journal of Aquatic Science

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Composition and abundance of the zooplankton community in the Bitter Lakes, Egypt, in relation to environmental factors

RA El-Bassat


The taxonomic composition of the zooplankton community of the Bitter Lakes, Egypt, was examined in 2003–2004 in relation to the spatial and temporal distribution of environmental factors. Copepoda were dominant, forming 49% of the zooplankton, followed by Protista at 37%. During the autumn, zooplankton in Small Bitter Lake were more abundant and different in composition, when compared with zooplankton populations in Great Bitter Lake. The high abundance of copepods in Small Bitter Lake occurred under conditions of elevated salinity, whereas lower salinity allowed rotifers and other freshwater forms to flourish near the outlet of a canal carrying urban waste. A reduction in zooplankton abundance was observed in an area impacted by heated water from the outlet of an electric power station.

Keywords: Copepoda; eutrophication; inter-lake comparisons; salinity; thermal pollution

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2008, 33(3): 233–240
AJOL African Journals Online