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Open Access item Modulation of nearshore harmful algal blooms by in situ growth rate and water renewal

Authors:Basterretxea, Gotzon
Garcés, Esther
Jordi, Antoni
Anglès, Silvia
Masó, Mercedes
Keywords:Harmful alga bloom, water renewal, growth, model, Mediterranean
Issue Date:20-Dec-2007
Publisher:Inter Research
Citation:Marine Ecology Progress Series 352: 53-65 (2007)
Abstract:Species belonging to the genera Alexandrium and Gymnodinium are amongst the dinoflagellates that regularly cause massive coastal phytoplankton blooms along Mediterranean beaches. These episodes encompass a variety of factors favouring bloom development, including near-shore nutrient enrichment, enhanced growth and low water renewal. During the summer of 2003 the development of a bloom was monitored at 2 nearby beaches, Peguera and Santa Ponça, located at the head of Santa Ponça Bay (Mallorca). Both sites are under the influence of the same physical regime—which is mainly wind-forced—and present relatively high inorganic nutrient concentrations for Mediterranean waters during summer (mean dissolved inorganic nitrogen > 1.2 µM and PO4 > 0.18 µM). Total dinoflagellate abundance exhibited a similar trend at both beaches, with remarkable outbursts in late June (>8 × 106 cells l–1). Water exchange calculations, based on 3D numerical modeling, yielded low average renewal rates at both sites (<0.08 d–1), and cell growth estimations suggested a significant increase in the specific growth rates during the blooming season associated with the seasonal temperature variation. We postulate that both the increased growth rates and the low wind-induced water renewal times are complementary factors and are of key relevance to the modulation of these blooms. Diagnostic analyses using a simple phytoplankton-zooplankton (PZ) model allowed us to observe the effect of growth rate and water renewal on bloom dynamics, and to identify a threshold condition for bloom occurrence
Description:13 pages, 10 figures, 1 table
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps07168
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