Biodiversity Science ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (6): 779-786.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.08098

Special Issue: Marine Biodiversity Studies in China Seas

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Progress of dinoflagellate cyst research in the China seas

Haifeng Gu*, Tingting Liu, Dongzhao Lan   

  1. Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen, Fujian 361005
  • Received:2011-06-14 Revised:2011-10-25 Online:2011-12-19
  • Haifeng Gu E-mail:haifenggu@yahoo.com

The resting cyst has played an important role in the life cycle of certain dinoflagellates. Cyst formation is of great biologically significance in the preservation, lasting and diffusion of the population. Dinoflagellates producing cysts spend much more time in the sediment than in the water column, and study on cysts helps to uncover the diversity of dinoflagellate. Cyst diversity and abundance in the sediments can reflect the historical information of overlying dinoflagellates and environmental conditions, and thus are able to trace the historical record of phytoplankton and environmental changes. By analyzing the amount and relative proportion of different cysts, the paleo-oceanographical environment can be reconstructed. Here we review recent progress in the study of dinoflagellate cyst in China and mainly focuses on a checklist of dinoflagellate cyst in the China seas.

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