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Environmental drivers of unprecedented Alexandrium catenella dinoflagellate blooms off eastern Tasmania, 2012–2018

Condie, SA, Oliver, ECJ ORCID: 0000-0002-4006-2826 and Hallegraeff, GM ORCID: 0000-0001-8464-7343 2019 , 'Environmental drivers of unprecedented Alexandrium catenella dinoflagellate blooms off eastern Tasmania, 2012–2018' , Harmful Algae, vol. 87 , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2019.101628.

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Blooms of the highly toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella (previously referred to as tamarense group 1) were first detected off eastern Tasmania in 2012 and have since been responsible for incidences of human paralytic shellfish poisoning and extended closures (up to 25 weeks) of mussel, oyster, scallop, abalone and rock lobster industries (up to 150 mg/kg PST in mussels). Investigation of meteorological and oceanographic influences indicate that the annually recurrent winter-spring blooms (June–Oct) occur within a narrow water temperature window (10–15 °C) under two distinct sets of conditions: (1) following high rainfall and land run-off, under relatively light winds; and (2) following periods of anomalously low air temperatures and associated cooling of shallow coastal waters, again under relatively light winds. The common driver of blooms appears to be the development of stratification in coastal waters, via salinity and/or temperature gradients. We propose a framework for evaluating the risk of Alexandrium with the aim of developing a forecasting capability, and compare these environmental conditions with historic data to understand the recent advent of these blooms.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Condie, SA and Oliver, ECJ and Hallegraeff, GM
Keywords: Alexandrium catenella, dinoflagellate blooms, harmful algal blooms, stratification, rainfall, forecasting
Journal or Publication Title: Harmful Algae
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 1568-9883
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.hal.2019.101628
Copyright Information:

© 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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