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Title

A spring poleward current and its influence on microplankton assemblages and harmful dinoflagellates on the western Iberian coast

AuthorsCrespo, B. G. ; Figueiras, F. G.
KeywordsMicroplankton distribution
Spring poleward flow
Harmful algal blooms
Gymnodinium catenatum
Accumulation
Iberian upwelling
Issue Date2007
PublisherElsevier
CitationHarmful Algae 6(5): 686-699 (2007)
AbstractAlong-shore currents can propagate harmful algal blooms (HABs) over long distances in many coastal areas of the ocean. Harmful dinoflagellate blooms on the west coast of Iberia frequently occur when the Iberian poleward current (IPC) establishes on the continental slope. This has led to the suggestion that HABs could be transported northward by the IPC. To examine this possibility, the microplankton composition along the west coast of Iberia was studied in May 1993 coinciding with the presence of the IPC. The microplankton of the IPC was almost exclusively composed of small flagellates, with the notable absence of the harmful species usually associated with coastal waters. The primary influence of the IPC was to confine coastal microplankton populations to the shelf, where a downwelling convergence prevented their export from the coastal environment. Microplankton assemblages on the shelf revealed a north–south gradient related to different stages of succession. Earlier stages of succession in which diatoms were prominent were found on the northern shelf, whereas dinoflagellates were more abundant in the south. The toxic species Gymnodinium catenatum, which was only present in the southern shelf, did not show a northward transport associated with the IPC. It is suggested that the northward spreading of HABs along the west coast of Iberia must be related to the interaction between the IPC, which accumulates coastal populations on the shelf, and the latitudinal progress of microplankton succession that determines species composition. Thus, during the course of the season, HABs are likely to be observed in the south prior to their development in the north.
Description14 páginas, 9 figuras, 1 tabla
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2007.02.007
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/50411
DOI10.1016/j.hal.2007.02.007
ISSN1568-9883
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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