ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2016, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 357–361. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © I.V. Stonik, N.A. Aizdaicher, 2016, published in Biologiya Morya.
The Species Composition, Morphology, and Seasonal Distribution
of Diatoms of the Genus Attheya West, 1860 from the Sea of Japan
I. V. Stonik and N. A. Aizdaicher
Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Pal’chevskogo 17, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Received February 4, 2015
Abstract⎯Six species that belong to the diatom genus Attheya were found in the Russian waters of the Sea of
Japan. A. cf. flexuosa is a new record for the seas of Russia. A. decora is recorded for the first time for the Sea
of Japan. The peculiarities of the morphology of A. decora and A. cf. flexuosa are described and illustrated.
The study of the seasonal distribution, abundance, and ecology of Attheya species in the northwestern Sea of
Japan showed that A. longicornis and A. ussurensis were the most numerous and widespread species, reaching
maximum densities (up to 1.5 × 10
and 1.8 × 10
cells/liter, respectively) in the spring, summer, and fall.
A. cf. flexuosa and A. septentrionalis were rare and were found in low numbers in the winter and early spring.
Based on the ultrastructure of the girdle bands, the form and number of chloroplasts, the presence/absence
of rimoportula on the valve, and habitat features, we distinguished two groups of species of the genus Attheya
from the Sea of Japan. The first group includes psammophytes A. decora, A. arenicola, and A. ussurensis; the
second one comprises A. longicornis and A. cf. flexuosa epiphytic on other diatoms, as well as A. septentriona-
lis, which is found in the under-ice plankton and is able to attach to the underside of ice.
Keywords: diatoms, Attheya, Sea of Japan
The diatoms of the genus Attheya West, 1860 are
widespread in arctic and temperate waters. Most spe-
cies are components of the microphytobenthos that
are not infrequently found in the phytoplankton as
well. The microphytobenthos in a broad sense is
defined as the aggregate of photosynthetic and mixo-
trophic organisms (attached or mobile) that live on a
variety of natural or man-made substrates on the bot-
tom of a body of water or in the water column .
Thus, the microphytobenthos includes inhabitants of
hard and soft substrates, e.g., psammophytes living on
or in sand and epiphytes that attach to other plants,
among them diatoms.
The study of diatoms of the genus Attheya is topical
because of their mass occurrence in the surf zones of
temperate seas. The genus currently comprises nine
species and intraspecific taxa, a part of which has been
described during the last decades based on electron
microscopy data [3, 4, 8]. Until recently, information
on the species diversity of this group of microalgae in
the Sea of Japan has been limited to the records of the
occurrence of four species: Attheya arenicola Gardner
et Crawford, 1994, A. longicornis Crawford et Gardner,
1994, A. septentrionalis (Østrup, 1895) Crawford,
1994, and A. ussurensis Stonik, Orlova, Crawford,
2006 [1, 2]. The records of finding of some species in
the Sea of Japan need to be ascertained, while the flora
and taxonomy of Attheya species from the Far Eastern
seas of Russia require further investigation. Data on
the densities and seasonal distribution of species of the
genus in the Sea of Japan are not numerous .
The present paper focuses on the study of the spe-
cies composition, morphology, and seasonal distribu-
tion of Attheya species found in the Russian waters of
the Sea of Japan.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The material was samples of phytoplankton and
microphytobenthos collected in different localities of
Peter the Great Bay, as well as a laboratory culture of
Attheya decora West, 1860 isolated from samples taken
in Ussuriiskiy Bay of the Sea of Japan in March 2015.
One-liter samples of phytoplankton were collected
year round in 2004–2010 at Cape Krasny in Amurskiy
Bay and in October 2014 in Ussuriikiy Bay. Samples
were taken with a 5-liter Niskin bottle from the 0.5, 2,
and 5 m depth horizons, fixed in Lugol’s solution and
concentrated by sedimentation and reverse filtration
through 2-μm nucleopore filters. Cell density was
counted using a Sedgewick–Rafter slide with a vol-
ume of 1 μm.