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The dinoflagellates Pyrrhophyta, Dinoflagellata of Guyana, the French Antilles and adjacent marine areas Les Dinophycees Pyrrhophyta, Dinoflagellata de la Guyane, des Antilles francaises et des aires marines adjacentes



The dinoflagellates Pyrrhophyta, Dinoflagellata of Guyana, the French Antilles and adjacent marine areas Les Dinophycees Pyrrhophyta, Dinoflagellata de la Guyane, des Antilles francaises et des aires marines adjacentes



Memoires de l'Institut Oceanographique (Monaco): 20: 1-269



This study, which lies within a Caribbean context, is a sequel to work undertaken in French Guiana from 1976 to 1979 and of punctual manner in the West Indies between 1977 and 1992. The source material was gathered from repeated fieldwork undertaken in French Guiana and from various oceanographic cruises in French Guiana, Antillean waters and Sargasso Sea. Benthic and especially planktonic dinophyceans of the marine area concerned are relatively diversified, but only 202 specific or infraspecific taxa were recognized. This catalogue excludes all dinophyceans with low or no resistance to powerful preservatives such as formol, in particular the Gymnodiniales lacking in the tough theca trough numerous in Caribbean waters (see the list of species cited by different authors included in this work). The West Indian waters are proved the richer with 136 taxa listed, against 100 for Guianese waters and 61 for the west-south-west of the Sargasso Sea. 22 taxa were found in common to all three regions, 27 common for the French Antilleans and Guiana, 23 for the Antilleans and Sargasso Sea and only 4 for the latter and Guiana. The genus Ceratium and Protoperidinium with respectively 57 and 49 taxa, are the most widely represented ahead of the genus Dinophysis, Prorocentrum and Gonyaulax. Species truly endemic to the Caribbean are probably quite rare. Protoperidinium anguipes and P. steidingerae seem only to be found in this region and possibly Ceratium hircus and Pyrodinium bahamense which have, however been listed for other seas. The majority of the other species have a vast distribution. A large contingent has a world-wide intertropical dispersal. A second, equally large, reaches temperate and temperate-cold zones. Dinophycean blooms grow sporadically, often inducing some perturbations in the environment, notably a temporary modification of the water colour and by subsequent consequences on other organisms. Certain are toxin producing, particularly Gambierdiscus toxicus, principal causal agent of ciguatera. The development of the latter can, in some cases, significantly disrupt the economy in affected regions.

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