Black Sea Dinoflagellata (History of the Research and Current Biodiversity)
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For centuries scientists in many disciplines have engaged in extensive exploration of the Black Sea biodiversity. For instance, investigations on Black Sea algae date back to 1866. Traditionally, the Black Sea was considered relatively poor in species richness compared to many other seas. However, recent investigations had shown that there was a need to seriously revise our perception of Black Sea species variety, especially of phytoplankton diversity. Many exciting advances in the studying of microalgae have taken place in the last decade, as new theoretical frameworks have been identified, new technologies to observe organisms in the field and the laboratory have been developed. Hence, new data were analysed leading to discovering numerous unknown previously phytoplankton species for the Black Sea or correcting the taxonomic descriptions of the familiar species in line with the changes in modern taxonomy. Consequently, a major revision of the check list of Black Sea phytoplankton species was undertaken. This paper presents the history of Black Sea dinoflagellates research and the most comprehensive inventory so far prepared for them. So far, the dinoflagellates check-list compiled consists of 456 species, 467 varieties and forms, including well-known, and more than 200 new species which have been reported during the last two decades. To date, representatives of 10 orders, 37 families and 79 genera of dinoflagellates have been found in the Black Sea. The most diverse order is Gymnodiniales, followed by Peridiniales, Gonyaulacales, Dinophysiales, Prorocentrales, Noctilucales, Ptychodiscales, Phytodiniales, Suessiales, and a few specimen still remain unidentified, as they most probably belong to currently unspecified genera. As the phytoplankton taxonomy develops fast nowadays and new species are being constantly found, the Black Sea check-list of dinoflagellates (http://phyto.bss.ibss.org.ua/wiki/Main_Page) is under regular update and will be annually updated.
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