This study was carried out from March to October 2018 in eight artificial fish ponds within Erbil province Kurdistan region of Iraq which is the first work in such ponds. A total of 116 algal species belong to 58 genera, 31 families, 19 orders, 9 class and 8 divisions were identified. The dominant division was Chlorophyta with 58 species (50%), followed by Cyanophyta with 31 species (26.72%), Euglenophyta with 19 species (16.37%), Chrysophyta with 4 species with (3.45%) and each of Charophyta, Pyrrophyta, Rhodophyta and Cryptophytawas with one species (0.58%).The dominant species were Euglena, Cosmarium, and Oscillatoria. Among identified taxa 25 species were new records to Iraqi algal flora.
Key words: Algae, new records, Ponds, Erbil, Iraq
Algae are an important component of aquatic ecosystems because they reflect the environmental health through their distribution and abundance 1. The algal diversity in any ecosystem depends upon the physical and chemical water properties. The presence of algae in the fresh pond is extremely important as it is a source of food for the aquatic organisms 2. In Iraqi Kurdistan Region phyco-limnological studies were carried out from 1978 to 2012. A total of 1341 species were recorded and reported in algal check list of Kurdistan region 3. More recently, a number of algae have been added to Iraqi algal flora 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Since there is no study in artificial fish ponds in Kurdistan, this study was carried out to known algal composition, abundance, distribution, spatial variation and periodicity as affected by related environmental conditions.
Material and Methods
Erbil district is located on a plain area with a series of hills from East. On the west side of the district, there is Greater Zab River, which separates Erbil from Dahuk. Ainkawa, Qushtapa, Bahrka, Bnaslawa, andKhabat are the major towns. Study area consists of two districts around Erbil province which are: Bahrka and qushtapa. Bahrka district consists of three sub-distinct which are: Jazhnikan, Grdaraq and Kawrasor. It is an open area located about 14 km from Erbil city; its height reaches about 472 m.a.s.l., 36o32’02.8” N latitude and 44o03’88.2” E longitudes and is characterized by agriculture. Qushtapa district located about 23 Km from Erbil city at 36o00’09.7” N latitude and 44o03’40.4” E longitudes and it has an elevation of 393 m.a.s.l. 9.
The studied areas are comprised of 8 sites, four sites (1, 2, 3 and 4) are located within Bahrka districts and other sites (5, 6, 7 and 8) were selected from Qushtapa districts. All sites are built of soil except site number one and five was constructed of concrete. The source of water is from deep well 10. (Fig.1)
Identification of Algae: Algal samples were collected in special containers. Whereas, algal forms were identified before algal fixation as soon as possible because of their loss of taxonomic characters. Using the most common and new available references 11, 12 15-25 and supported by Google web sites. The classification and arrangement of algal taxa were done according to 13 and the new records determined according to the last checklist of Iraqi and Kurdistan algal flora 14.