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Institut za more i priobalje

Kneza Damjana Jude 12, pp. 83
20000 Dubrovnik
Tel. 020 32 39 78, Fax: 020 32 38 72
dr. sc. Nenad Jasprica, ravnatelj
e-mail: nenad.jasprica@unidu.hr
Gordana Perak, tajnica
e-mail: gordana.perak@unidu.hr

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ids 2008 International Diatom Symposium Dubrovnik

Suradnici Diseminacija Publikacije Terenska istraživanja


Miloslavić, Marijana; Garić, Rade; Lučić, Petra; Maguire, Ivana; Lučić, Davor. 2016. Ecology and population structure of the hyperbenthic copepod Mesaiokeras hurei Kršinić, 2003 (Calanoida: Mesaiokeratidae) from an isolated marine lake (Mljet island, Southern Adriatic Sea, Croatia). Journal of crustacean biology. 36(3):295-302 (IF 1.081). DOI: 10.1163/1937240X-00002421



The monogeneric family Mesaiokeratidae (Copepoda: Calanoida) is exclusively bentho-pelagic and comprises nine small hyperbenthic species. Previous knowledge of these species has been limited to the description of their morphology and habitat. We provide new information about the ecology of Mesaiokeras hurei Kršinić, 2003, one of the small-size species of the family and found only in an isolated marine lake on the southern Adriatic island of Mljet (Croatia). Genetic markers were used to investigate its phylogenetic relationships with other copepods. The abundance of M. hurei was highly variable over the years and seasons sampled. Densities were higher in spring and autumn. It was particularly abundant in 2011, averaging 629 ± 800 individuals/m3, and with a maximum of 1971 individuals m−3 in November, but averaged 74 ± 71 individuals/m3 and 66 ± 71 individuals/m3 in 2001 and 2008, respectively. Specimens were found in a range of temperatures, from 10.5°C to 18.3°C, but a majority of individuals (67%) was found in the 12-14°C layer. In addition to temperature, oxygen was a significant predictor (p < 0.001) of the vertical micro-distribution of M. hurei. The DNA barcode sequence for the species is reported here for the first time. Analysis of the nuclear small subunit rRNA gene fragment (18S) showed a genetic similarity with representatives of the superfamily Clausocalanoidea.

Garić R. & Batistić M. 2016. Description of Brooksia lacromae sp. nov. (Tunicata, Thaliacea) from the Adriatic Sea. European Journal of Taxonomy 196: 1–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2016.196


Brooksia lacromae sp. nov. is described from zooplankton material collected at a marine monitoring station in the South Adriatic in the autumn of 2014. The description of both solitary and aggregate forms is given along with 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cox1 sequence data that provides strong evidence that both forms belong to the same species. The described species is morphologically markedly different from B. rostrata (Traustedt, 1893) and B. berneri van Soest, 1975, previously the only two species in the genus Brooksia. Genetic analysis based on 18S rRNA gene confirmed distinctness of B. lacromae sp. nov. from B. rostrata (1.5% uncorrected pairwise distance). The appendicularian Fritillaria helenae Bückmann, 1924, so far known from the Atlantic only, was found in the same samples as B. lacromae sp. nov. Co-occurrence of B. lacromae sp. nov. with an Atlantic appendicularian suggests an Atlantic or Western Mediterranean origin for this new taxon.

Miloslavic et al.

Garić et Batistić

The second year of the project, 1 September 2016 – 1 September 2017.

Batistić, M., Viličić, D., Kovačević, V., Jasprica, N., Lavigne, H., Carić, M., Garić, R., Car, A., 2017. Phytoplankton winter blooms in the offshore south Adriatic waters are regulated by hydroclimatic events in the period 1995-2012. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19th EGU General Assembly, EGU2017, 23-28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria., p. 6908.
Data of phytoplankton abundance in winters of 1994 and 1995, and surface chlorophyll satellite-derived data (1997-2012) are the basis for investigation of characteristics and intensity of phytoplankton blooms in the open South Adriatic. Special attention is paid to the relation of different circulation regimes in the Ionian Sea (prevalently anticyclonic or cyclonic direction of Northern Ionian Gyre - NIG) to intensity of phytoplankton blooms. Different circulation regimes in the Ionian Sea cause inflow of water of different physical and biochemical properties into the Adriatic. Relatively high winter production events were evident in the open South Adriatic during both anticyclonic and cyclonic regimes. In the nutrient rich anticyclonic years, shallow vertical mixing is sufficient for enrichment of euphotic layers with the nutrients and development of the bloom, while in nutrient poor cyclonic years deep vertical mixing is necessary. Moreover, intense blooms have occurred in the years of specific hydroclimatic properties (i.e. East Mediterranean Transient – EMT and during extremely cold winters) and reversal years (from anticyclonic to cyclonic circulation of NIG and vice versa). In conclusion, winter season is important for production in the open South Adriatic waters and could not be omitted in the total yearly production estimates. Winter bloom intensity in the open South Adriatic depends on synergistic effects of local meteorological conditions and large time scale climatic variabilities in the Eastern Mediterranean on one hand, and water masses of different properties enteringthe Adriatic on the other.


Batistić, M., Garić, R., 2016. Increase of planktonic Tunicata (Appendicularia, Thaliacea) biodiversity in the Adriatic Sea: A possible relationship with hydroclimatic changes in the Mediterranean Sea. Fifth Congress of ecologists of the Republic of Macedonia with international participation - Abstract book, Melovski, Ljupcho (ed.). Skopje: Macedonian Ecological Society, 2016. str. 39-39

We investigated potential connections over the past two decades between mesoscale circulation regimes in the Ionian Sea and newly-observed planktonic tunicate species and concurrent rise in sea temperature in the Adriatic Sea. Analyses of plankton samples from 1993 to 2015 in the southern Adriatic revealed marked changes in the planktonic tunicate community. Eleven appendicularian and three thaliacean species were recorded for the first time in the Adriatic. We found that incoming of these species are in connection with circulation regimes in the Northern Ionian Gyre (NIG). The occurrence of Atlantic/Western Mediterranean species coincided with anti-cyclonic circulation in the NIG, owing to the advection of Modified Atlantic Water into the Adriatic, while the presence of Lessepsian species coincided with the cyclonic pattern, which governs the entry of Eastern Mediterranean waters. The impact has been that some newcomers now make a larger contribution to the zooplankton community in the southern Adriatic and, in certain cases, have replaced native species. The synergistic effects of these processes, together with warmer Mediterranean waters, raise concerns over dramatic changes in the marine biodiversity of the Adriatic.


Car, A., Witkowski, A., Jasprica, N., Ljubimir, S., Čalić, M., Dobosz, S. 2017. Comparison among epilithic diatom communities from areas of invasive Caulerpa species (Caulerpa taxifolia and Caulerpa cylindracea) in the Adriatic Sea (NE Mediterranean). Book of the Abstracts of the 11th International Phycological Congress, Witkowski, A. (ed.), University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland, 13-19 August 2017.

Diatom community structures at locations under the influence of different invasive Caulerpa species; C. taxifolia and C. cylindracea, were compared in a two-year interval. Samples for taxonomic study were taken from coastal rocks at three stations (Island of Hvar, island of Mljet and Dubrovnik area) at eastern Adriatic Sea from November 2008 to October 2010. Light and electron microscopy examinations were used for qualitative analysis. Taxonomic analysis of diatom communities revealed altogether 388 epilithic taxa belonging in 63 genera including Hyalosynedra, Rhopalodia, Navicula, Cocconeis, Berkeleya, Tabularia, Nitzschia and Grammatophora as the most abundant. The study confirmed differences in species composition and abundance of epilithic diatoms among two Caulerpa sites. While the average number of taxa at C. taxifolia sampling site (the island of Hvar) was 77 per sample, the average number of taxa at C. cylindracea sampling sites (Dubrovnik and Mljet) was lower and amounted to 64 per sample. The highest values of Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index were during autumn and were almost the same for all three sampling sites ranging from 5.26 to 5.34. As revealed by MDS ordination, location has more impact on diatom community structure than seasonal changes. ANOSIM test performed on species abundance data confirmed that the difference between diatom communities among different sampling seasons was not significant. The results indicate that the influence of invasive seaweed of genus Caulerpa that change the habitat by competing with autochthonous algae diminishing the structural complexity, richness of species and diversity evident at the macroscopic level have impact on microflora as well. Results of this study presents the first study of the taxonomic composition and distribution of epilithic diatoms from areas of invasive Caulerpa spp., and it contributes to the broader and regional knowledge of diatom diversity in these challenged environments.


Car, A., Hafner, D., Jasprica, N., Ljubimir, S., Dupčić Radić, I., 2016. Benthic diatoms of the small marine lake Mrtvo more (the island of Lokrum, Adriatic Sea). Book of Abstracts of the 5th Croatian Botanical Congress with International Participation, Rešetnik, I., Ljubešić, Z. (ed.). Zagreb, Primošten, Croatian Botanical Society, 75-76.

The present study is being developed in the framework of a research project dealing with taxonomy and ecology of benthic diatomsin the Croatian part of southern Adriatic Sea. Starting in April 2016, 25 microscope slides were merged into a Dead Sea at the depth of 0.5m. The Dead Sea is semi-closed shallow marine ecosystem (maximum depth of 6 meters, the area of 0.1 ha), located within a special reserve of forest vegetation on the island Lokrum in front of Dubrovnik. During summer season, the Dead Sea is under significant anthropogenic influence (swimmers). The aim of this study is to explore the benthic diatom composition and abundance and seasonal dynamics of diatoms on a fine time scale. The experiment was carried out for 25 weeks and every week another microscope slide was taken out and gently plunged into sterile seawater. A quantitative biofilm assay was performed by light microscope (LM) observations by counting valves of life material under low magnification of 60x. Values were standardized to a sample surface of 1 cm2. Detail diatom analysis was performed on permanent slides of processed material (hydrogen peroxide treated) with Nikon E600 microscope under magnification of 1000x. In order to make detailed analysis of benthic diatom assemblages of the Dead Sea and provide information about host-dependence, additional to samples of microscope slides, samples of rocks (epilithic diatoms) and green and brown macroalagae (epiphytic diatoms) were also collected and prepared for diatom analysis. During experiment, environmental conditions (temperature of the sea, salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll a) ware determined weekly.


Car, A., Witkowski, A., Jasprica, N., 2016. Taxonomic composition of epiphytic diatoms from areas affected by invasive macroalgae Caulerpa taxifolia and Caulerpa cylindracea (Adriatic Sea, Croatia). The Second Croatian Symposium on Invasive Species with International Participation, Jelaska, S. et al. (eds.). Croatian Ecological Society, Zagreb, November 21-22, 2016, 54-54.

The present study focuses on the taxonomy of epiphytic diatoms in areas affected by invasive macroalgae representing the the genus of Caulerpa J.V. Lamouroux, 1809 on the eastern Adriatic Sea coast. Material for the study of epiphytic diatoms was collected during two years (autumn 2008 – autumn 2010) from an area influenced by Caulerpa taxifolia (Vahl) C. Agardh in the bay of Stari Grad (the Island of Hvar), and from areas influenced by Caulerpa cylindracea Sonder in Dubrovnik and on the Island of Mljet (Gonoturska Bay). In order to compare epiphyte assemblages, sampling of coexisting autochthonous brown and green algae was conducted at the same stations. The samples were acid cleaned (HCl/H2O2) prior to qualitative analysis of diatoms using light microscope (LM) (Nikon E600 microscope) under magnification of 1000x. Light and electron microscopy examinations provide for the first time the information on the general morphology and ultrastructure of taxa, and enable a determination of the taxonomy of diatoms. The seasonal dynamics were described on a fine time scale. For the first time in the Central and Southern Adriatic Sea the composition of benthic diatoms and seasonal dynamics of taxa in areas affected by invasive macroalge Caulerpa taxifolia and Caulerpa cylindracea were determined. The results of this study enable a better understanding of the functioning of ecosystems dominated by macroalgae Caulerpa spp. Knowledge of the diatom community structure in the areas impacted by Caulerpa spp. is important for studies of the toxic effects of the host.
Keywords: marine epiphytic diatoms, ‘killer seaweed’, Cocconeis caulerpacola, biofouling


Dupčić Radić I., Carić M., Hrustić E., Ljubimir S., Garić R., 2017, Long-term (1993-2016) variability of physical-chemical parameters in the South Adriatic under the different circulation regimes in the East Mediterranean, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19th EGU General Assembly, EGU 2017, 23-28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria., p.4986

Long-term variability of temperature, salinity and nutrients (nitrates, phosphates and silicates), collected between 1993 and 2016 in the open South Adriatic from 0 to 1200 m depth, are presented here. South Adriatic (SA) extends from the Palagruža Sill to the Otrant Sill and it’s the deepest part of the Adriatic Sea (about 1250 m). SA ecosystem is a true pelagic, with low terrestrial inputs and impact of the coastal waters on the nutrient budget. Notable influence is regular exchange of water with the Eastern Mediterranean through the Strait of Otranto. SA is an entry point for water masses originating from the Ionian Sea (IS) and a place of dense water formation for the eastern Mediterranean deep circulation cell. Water masses, entering the SA in larger amount during the  winter, show decadal variability explained by different circulating regimes (cyclonic and anticyclonic) in the IS, referred to as “Bimodal Oscillating System” (BiOS). Considering temperature and salinity values, years 1993- 1996 and 2007-2012 were anticyclonic (lower temperature /less saline) and years 1997-2006 and 2013-2016 were cyclonic (higher temperature/more saline). The highest temperature and salinity values during the research period were observed in 2016. During 23 years of research significant variations in the nutrient concentrations are found. Annual medians of nutrients of the whole water column were as follows: nitrates from 0.2 μM (2000) to 3.7 μM (1995), phosphates from 0.03 μM (2004) to 0.21 _M (2014) and silicates from 1.7 μM (2002) to 6.2 μM (1995). Nutrients reached rather high levels of concentrations in 1990s, especially in 1995. These high nutrient levels in mid-1990s, coupled with low temperature and salinity values, are related to the inflow of the nutrient richerWestern Mediterranean waters, which enter to the Adriatic during the anticyclonic phase of the BiOS and was strengthened by the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurring in the early 1990s. Anticyclonic circulation is changed to cyclonic in 1997, accompanied by a decrease in nutrient concentrations which last till 2005. Nitrate and phosphate concentration increased again in 2006 and silicate concentration increased in 2007. During both years the BiOS reversal from cyclonic to anticyclonic was slower and did not completely change the Adriatic water mass properties in a short time as during the BiOS regime shift in the 1990s. Nitrate and silicate values were increased till 2009 and phosphates were increased only till 2007. The fall in concentrations of nitrate and silicate in 2010 and phosphate in 2008, during anticyclonic years, as well as increased concentrations of nitrate in 2013, phosphate in 2014-2015 and silicates in 2015-2016, during cyclonic years, indicate that nutrients concentration are not exclusively related to the BiOS but also by other biological (phytoplankton activity), biogeochemical and physical processes (vertical mixing).


Ljubimir, S., Jasprica, N., Čalić, M., Hrustić, E., Dupčić Radić, I., Car, A., Batistić, M., 2017. Interannual (2009–2013) variability of winter-spring phytoplankton in the open South Adriatic Sea: Effects of deep convection and lateral advection. Continental Shelf Research 143, 311–321. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2017.05.007

The South Adriatic (SA) is an entry point for water masses originating from the Ionian Sea (IS) and a place of dense water formation for the eastern Mediterranean deep circulation cell. Water masses, entering the SA in larger amount during the winter, show decadal variability explained by different circulating regimes (cyclonic and anticyclonic) in the IS, referred to as “Bimodal Oscillating System” (BiOS). Sampling station was situated in the South Adriatic Pit (SAP) with depth of 1200 m. Micro- and nano-phytoplankton abundances, community structure, chlorophyll a concentrations, physical and chemical properties are presented in the winter and spring months for five consecutive years (2009–2013) during different circulating regimes of BiOS. Vertical convective mixing was regularly observed in winter except in 2011 which had effect on nutrient availability and consequently on biomass of primary producers. Effect of strong vertical mixing in February 2012 resulted with exceptionally high phytoplankton abundance and chlorophyll a concentrations in March of 2012. Strong convective mixing resulted in higher diatom abundances, comparing to winter when mixing did not occur. No such bloom was observed during investigated spring.


Čalić, M., Ljubimir, S., Bosak, S., 2016. Unusual occurrence of tropical planktonic diatom species of the genus Chaetoceros in the South Adriatic. The Second Croatian Symposium on Invasive Species with International Participation, Jelaska, S. et al. (eds.). Croatian Ecological Society, Zagreb, November 21-22, 2016, 53-53.

Two fairly uncommon species of planktonic diatoms of the genus Chaetoceros, Ch. bacteriastriodes and Ch. pseudosymmetrycus, were recorded during the study along the South Adriatic transect Dubrovnik-Bari in 2012 and 2015. Species were recorded by observing water samples under inverted microscope. From a total of 89 examined samples unusual Chaetoceros species were recorded in 5 cases in the South Adriatic open waters (to a depth 0-100 m) during winter period. Their abundance did not exceed 102 cells L-1. Both species have been described from tropical waters, showing Indo- Pacific distribution, and very rarely recorded in the Mediterranean Sea. Areal expansion and introduction of new phytoplankton species might be related to changes in sea circulation in the South Adriatic or ballast water transport. Recent investigations have shown that entering currents, of either Atlantic/Western Mediterranean or Eastern Mediterranean origin, modify the composition of the plankton community in the South Adriatic and each type of current brings different newcomers.
Keywords: diatoms, genus Chaetoceros, South Adriatic, tropical species.


Čalić, M., Car, A., Ljubimir, S., 2017. First records of the dinoflagellate of the genus Dicroerisma in the Adriatic Sea. Book of the Abstracts of the 11th International Phycological Congress, Witkowski, A. (ed.), University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland, 13-19 August 2017.

Several occurrences of planktonic dinoflagellate Dicroerisma psilonereiella (Gymnodiniales) were recorded during the long term study in South Adriatic open waters from 2011 to 2017. This taxon was recorded in 4 cases, mostly below 75 m and during winter-spring period. Abundance of D. psilonereiella in Adriatic did not exceed 102 cells L-1. Genus Dicroerisma has been described and reported primarily from the boreal and polar waters but nowadays it has been widespread in all the world oceans. Although it has been encountered in the Mediterranean those are the first findings in Adriatic Sea. Recent investigations have shown that entering currents, of either Atlantic/Western Mediterranean or Eastern Mediterranean origin, modify the composition of the plankton community in the South Adriatic and each type of current brings different newcomers.


Garić, R., Batistić, M. 2016. First record of Fritillaria helenae in the Mediterranean Sea. The Second Croatian Symposium on Invasive Species with International Participation, Jelaska, S. et al. (eds.). Croatian Ecological Society, Zagreb, November 21-22, 2016, 55-55.

In the last two decades multiple new gelatinous planktonic species were recorded in the Adriatic. Their arrival has been positively correlated with increasing sea temperature as well as with different circulation patterns in the Ionian Sea. The direction of the Ionian Sea Gyre causes advection of different water masses in the Adriatic. During its cyclonic phase it brings mainly warm and saline Eastern Mediterranean water, while during anticyclonic phase it brings more of Atlantic and Western Mediterranean waters. Here we present first record of Fritillaria helenae (Tunicata, Appendicularia) for the Mediterranaen Sea (Garić and Batistić, 2016). Fritillaria helenae was so far only known from the Atlantic. It was found in the South Adriatic in autumn 2014 when a marked drop in salinity was recorded, which suggests increased inflow of Atlantic/Western Mediterranean waters into the Adriatic.


Ursella, L., Cardin, V., Batistić, M., 2017. Evidence of zooplankton vertical migration from continuous Southern Adriatic buoy current-meter records (E2-M3A). Geophysical Research Abstracts, 19th EGU General Assembly, EGU2017, 23-28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria., p. 4549.

The E2-M3A Station is deployed in the southern Adriatic Sea, at about 1200 m depth, in the center of the cyclonic gyre where deep convection process takes place, involving both the atmosphere and the ocean dynamics and forming new dense and oxygenated waters, thus triggering the solubility and the biological pump. In particular, the E2M3A is equipped with an upward looking 150 kHz RDI-Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) positioned between 265 and 320 m depth, with a vertical resolution of 5 m and a range of 250-300 m. The mooring line has been in water since November 2006, with an interruption from September 2010 until May 2011. ADCP backscattering signal is very useful in determining zooplankton distribution and variability at various time scales, including seasonal/annual behavior and diel vertical migration (DVM). From ADCP backscattering signal, backscattering strength (Sv) was calculated for the entire dataset. Sv permits to quantify qualitatively the scatters present in the water, i.e. the particulate and/or the phyto/zoo-plankton. Zooplankton distribution is dependent on phytoplankton presence and blooms, which on its own depend on nutrients availability (related to wind-induced vertical mixing), but also on sunlight. The variation in time of Sv together with vertical velocity allows for measuring DVM of zooplankton and its variability with seasons and years. Alternation of high and low values for Sv are present all year long with differences in intensities in particular in the surface layer. Quite high values for Sv are found in spring and summer; in spring they are found along a large part of the water column, while in summer they are detected prevalently in the upper part of the measurement range. This behavior is related to the conditions of the water column, i.e. mixing and nutrients availability, which influence phytoplankton blooms and therefore zooplankton growing and movements. Correlating Net Primary Production obtained from model and Mixed Layer Depth, a delay of two months in the bloom of phytoplankton with respect to deepest mixing is found. Power Spectra of Sv show a major peak at 24 h that corresponds to the classical nocturnal-diurnal migration, and a secondary important peak at the period of 12 hours that indicates a different type of DVM pattern, the twilight migration. The ultimate factor behind DVM seems to be the minimization of the risk of predation from fishes and other carnivorous groups. Calculating the monthly mean daily cycle of the Sv, it is evident that there is a decrease in Sv at sunrise, while it increases at sunset. The highest values in the derivative of Sv, as well as highest values in the vertical velocity (w), coincide in time with sunset and sunrise. In particular, w is negative (downward movement) at sunrise while it is positive (upward movement) at sunset, and in some cases absolute value of w (|w|) reaches 5 cm/s. The hour of occurrence of |w| greater than 4.5 cm/s follows the curves in time of the hours of sunset and sunrise, which are changing throughout the year.

Čalić, M., Ljubimir, S., Bosak, S., Car, A., 2017. First records of two planktonic Indo-Pacific diatoms: Chaetoceros bacteriastroides and C. pseudosymmetricus in the Adriatic Sea. Oceanologia (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oceano.2017.07.005 (in press)
Unusual occurrence of planktonic diatom species, Chaetoceros bacteriastroides and Chaetoceros pseudosymmetricus, was noticed in three different marine ecosystems of Adriatic Sea: the Krka Estuary and Telaščica Bay in the Central Adriatic, and in southern Adriatic offshore. From 2010 to 2015, these two Chaetoceros species were recorded in heterogeneous environmen-tal conditions and in a very low abundances. Both species are regarded as very rare in world oceans, and consequently knowledge of their distribution and ecology is rather poor. Primarily described from tropical waters and showing Indo-Pacific distribution, C. bacteriastroides and C. pseudosymmetricus findings in Adriatic represent the northernmost records in world's oceans and seas. For C. pseudosymmetricus this is also the first occurrence in European seas. Areal expansion and introduction of new phytoplankton species in the Adriatic Sea might be related to different circulation regimes in the Ionian Sea and the concurrent rise in sea temperature in the Mediterranean in the last decade. Recent investigations have shown that entering currents, of either Atlantic/Western Mediterranean or Eastern Mediterranean origin, modify the composition of the plankton community in the Adriatic by bringing different newcomers.

Čalič et al 2017 Chaetoceros.

Ljubimir et al.

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