Phytoplankton Diversity and Distribution in the Festac Creek, Lagos, Nigeria

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research 3, Wilmot Point Road Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

2 Department of Marine Sciences, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria.

3 Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria.


Phytoplankton are photosynthetic microscopic organisms that inhabit the upper sunlit layer (euphotic zone) of marine and fresh water bodies.  Phytoplankton, as the primary producer of the aquatic ecosystem’s food chain and are very sensitive to environmental changes as energy stored up in them determine the basic primary productivity of an ecosystem. There is dearth of information on the phytoplankton community of the Festac creek and thus the need for this study which aims at microscopically investigating the phytoplankton community of the Festac creek. The Phytoplankton diversity and distribution of the Festac creek, Lagos, Nigeria. was investigated for 12 months (November 2021 – October, 2022). Phytoplankton samples were collected monthly for 12 months, using a 55 μm mesh size standard plankton net towed horizontally from a motorized boat for 5 mins at < 4 Km/h and preserved by adding 4% unbuffered formalin. The drop count microscopic analysis method was used to study the phytoplankton species. A total of 34 phytoplankton species from 7 algal classes namely Bacillariophyceae (16 species), Cyanophyceae (9 species), Chlorophyceae (2 species), Conjugatophyceae (3 species), Dictyochophyceae (2 species), Tintinnid (1 species) and Dinophyceae (1 species) were recorded. Notable species were recorded such as: Lyngbya sp, Prorocentrum lima, Navicula sp. Nitzschia lineola, Phormidium bohneri, Oscillatoria limosa, Oscillatoria nigro viridis, Oscillatoria formosa and some other known marine species such as Coscinodiscus radiatus, Coscinodiscus marginatus Skeletonema costatum, Odontella sinensis, Thalassionema nizschoides, Fragillaria oceanica, Spirulina subsalsa and Tintinnopsis radix. The most abundant class was the Cyanophyceae (Blue-green algae) with Oscillatoria limosa being the most abundant species. This could be attributed to the constant addition of nutrient particularly nitrate and phosphate run offs from industries around the study area which enhances cyanobacterial growth and   indicates that the Festac creek is eutrophic.