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“Canary Islands (NE Atlantic) as a biodiversity ‘hotspot’ of Gambierdiscus: Implications for future trends of ciguatera in the area”

AuthorsRodríguez, Francisco; Fraga, Santiago; Ramilo, Isabel; Rial, Pilar; Figueroa, Rosa Isabel ; Riobó, Pilar ; Bravo, Isabel
KeywordsBenthic dinoflagellates
Canary Islands
Issue Date2017
CitationHarmful Algae 67: 131-143 (2017)
AbstractIn the present study the geographical distribution, abundance and composition of Gambierdiscus was described over a 600 km longitudinal scale in the Canary Islands. Samples for cell counts, isolation and identification of Gambierdiscus were obtained from five islands (El Hierro, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote). Average densities of Gambierdiscus spp. between 0 and 2200 cells g−1 blot dry weight of macrophyte were recorded. Morphological (light microscopy and SEM techniques) and molecular analyses (LSU and SSU rDNA sequencing of cultures and single cells from the field) of Gambierdiscus was performed. Five Gambierdiscus species (G. australes, G. caribaeus, G. carolinianus, G. excentricus and G. silvae), together with a new putative species (Gambierdiscus ribotype 3) were identified. These results suggest that some cases of CFP in the region could be associated with the accumulation of ciguatoxins in the marine food web acquired from local populations of Gambierdiscus. This unexpected high diversity of Gambierdiscus species in an area which a priori is not under risk of ciguatera, hints at an ancient settlement of Gambierdiscus populations, likely favored by warmer climate conditions in the Miocene Epoch (when oldest current Canary Islands were created), in contrast with cooler present ones. Currently, warming trends associated with climate change could contribute to extend favorable environmental conditions in the area for Gambierdiscus growth especially during winter months
Description13 pages, 7 figures, 1 table.-- This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2017.06.009
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