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Does phytoplankton community composition during drought periods favor Karenia brevis bloom development in the Mission-Aransas Estuary (Texas, USA)?

AuthorsAnglès, Silvia ; Campbell, Lisa
Issue Date27-Oct-2014
Citation16th International Conference on Harmful Algae (2014)
AbstractEstuaries are particularly vulnerable to climate variability. Droughts are a common feature in Texas, where precipitation is highly variable among years. During periods of drought, low river discharges in estuaries are associated with an increase in salinity and a reduction of nutrients, which can cause alterations in the phytoplankton community structure. In the present study, we used the phytoplankton time series from the Imaging FlowCytoBot (IFCB) deployed at the entrance of the Mission-Aransas Estuary to investigate the community composition during and after drought conditions. In years 2009 and 2011, two prolonged drought periods occurred, which resulted in extended periods (34 months) of high salinity during summer. Overall phytoplankton abundance decreased during these periods, most evident in 2011, and very few species were present. When river discharges increased (SeptemberOctober) due to precipitation, Karenia brevis cells were detected above background by the IFCB. It appeared the K. brevis cells originated offshore, and reached peak abundances of 1400 and 1700 cells/ml in 2009 and 2011, respectively. K. brevis represented from 30 to 60% of the total phytoplankton community during the development of the blooms. Therefore, the blooms coincided with increased river discharges in the estuary and a low dominance of the co-occurring phytoplankton species. One possibility is that conditions in the estuary could be more favorable to K. brevis due to suitable salinity and to the low abundance of the typical phytoplankton community found in the estuary as a consequence of the previous drought
DescriptionPóster presentado en la 16th International Conference on Harmful Algae ICHA, celebrada del 27 al 31 de octubre de 2014 en Wellington (Nueva Zelanda)
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Comunicaciones congresos
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