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Short-term variations in development of a recurrent toxic Alexandrium minutum-dominated dinoflagellate bloom induced by meteorological conditions

AuthorsLenning, K. van ; Vila, Magda ; Masó, Mercedes ; Garcés, Esther ; Anglès, Silvia ; Sampedro, Nagore ; Morales-Blake, Alejandro; Camp, Jordi
KeywordsAlexandrium minutum
Harmful algal blooms
Paralytic shellfish poisoning
Issue DateOct-2007
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationJournal of Phycology 43(5): 892-907 (2007)
AbstractDevelopment of an Alexandrium minutum Halim bloom affecting a Mediterranean harbor was monitored in detail using a multidisciplinary approach. A. minutum was by far the most abundant species at and near the bloom maximum, but always coexisted with members of three additional dinoflagellate genera and prasinophytes. Bloom initiation (early February) occurred during prolonged influences of sunny weather conditions, when day length exceeded 10.5 h and water temperatures reached 10.2°C. Subsequent development toward its maximum (end of March) also relied on good weather conditions, with specific wind directions favoring accumulation of cells. Arrival of rainy weather, associated with frontal boundaries of large-scale low-atmospheric-pressure systems and characterized by reduced solar irradiance (heavy cloud coverage), opposite wind directions, and enhanced wind speeds, always caused temporal declines of the bloom. These declines were attributed to dispersal or displacement of algae, but a vertical migration of A. minutum cells toward the sediment was not excluded. Delayed inflows of excess terrestrial rainwater along the inner harbor wall strongly reduced salinity and prolonged a temporal decline far beyond influences of bad weather. The associated nutrient supply favored development of the phytoplankton population but reduced the toxin production of A. minutum cells. The HPLC-determined Gonyautoxin (GTX) 1 + 4/GTX 2 + 3 ratio strongly increased toward the bloom maximum. This ratio was influenced by nutrient status and cell density and has a potential value for monitoring developmental stages of blooms. Prolonged bad weather conditions eventually hindered continuation of bloom development, and subsequent declines of algal biomass were attributed to grazing
Description16 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1529-8817.2007.00396.x
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