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Population dynamics of red tide dinoflagellates

AuthorsWyatt, T. ; Zingone, Adriana
KeywordsRed tides
Harmful algal blooms
Issue Date2014
CitationDeep Sea Research - Part II - Topical Studies in Oceanography 101: 231-236 (2014)
AbstractSea-surface discolorations due to high concentrations of phytoplankton are called red tides. Their ecological significance is a long standing puzzle, and they are sometimes considered pathological. Here we propose that many red tides, particularly but not exclusively those comprised of certain autotrophic dinoflagellates, are presexual/sexual swarms, essential links in their complex life cycles. This view provides a rationale for the appearance of these organisms in thin surface layers, and helps explain their ephemeral nature. We suggest that further understanding of this phenomenon, and of phytoplankton ecology in general, would benefit from attention to the ‘net reproductive value′ (r) over the whole life cycle as well as to the division rate (μ) of the vegetative phase. It is argued that r is strategically adapted to seasonal cycles and long term environmental variability, while μ reflects tactical needs (timing) and constraints (grazers, parasites) on vegetative growth.
Description15 páginas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.09.021
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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