Time series of phytoplankton density, biomass and species composition in the Bulgarian Black Sea (specifically Varna Bay) are analysed. The main patterns of year-to-year fluctuations in the phytoplankton community controlled by natural and man-induced factors are discussed. Many indications lead to the conclusion that phytoplankton blooms have not become less frequent in comparison with the period of progressive eutrophication (1975-85), and there is a trend towards an increase in the number of blooming species involved. The community maintains the capacity to produce a lot of biomass. Areas of high productivity occur mainly in coastal waters. In open sea areas the level of algal biomass is higher than in the 80s. Irrespective of low silicate concentrations, in general the 90s are the period of diatom predomination.

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