Lack of knowledge about distribution of charophyte fructifications and importance of environmental conditions in the Baltic Sea coastal waters fostered us to assess the spatial-temporal patterns of oospore bank in relationship with environmental factors in the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian part). We mapped the distribution of oospores in 2017–2019. The importance of environmental factors was determined by the cluster analysis and boosted regression trees. Four oospores species were recorded up to 4 m depth. The highest mean densities (58,000 ind·m−2
) of viable fructifications were found along the eastern shore, where the densest charophyte stands were recorded. Viable fructifications showed a clear pattern of filling the oospore bank after the vegetation season and a depletion during the summer as they germinated. The distance from charophyte stands, salinity, bottom slope aspect, and wave exposure were the most important environmental variables. Full fructifications mostly occurred within <0.5 km distance from the charophyte stands restricted to flat and sheltered areas exposed to the northern and eastern slopes. Empty fructifications were mostly found within <2 km distance from the charophyte stands but their high density was limited to <1 km distance from the charophyte stands and on the northeastern bottom slopes and >1.5 salinity.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited