Numerous papers have been published on the animal and algal communities of fresh-water and marine biotopes, and their relation to the physical and chemical factors of their environment. Brackish-water biotopes have been studied much less intensely, presumably due to their limited distribution and to the complexity of their bioco enoses, composed of fresh-water, brackish-water and marine organisms. The reduced size of the species present forms a supplementary difficulty, which is especially pronounced in the algal communities, a major part of which are composed of nanno-phytoplankters. The University of Ghent considered a detailed survey sufficiently attractive to set up because of the high species diversity, the gaps in the knowledge of brackish-water nannophytoplankton at the species and population levels, and the convenient proximity of brackish-water biotopes. Moreover, the brackish-water biotopes proved to be unique, and consist of a series of landlocked creeks, connected to the sea by means of an underground salt water supply.
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