Skip to content

Influences of sedimentation and hydrodynamics on the spatial distribution of Alexandrium catenella/tamarense resting cysts in a shellfish farming lagoon impacted by toxic blooms

March 14, 2013

 

Since resting cysts are a potential seeding source for blooms, the presence of these cysts in sediments is a marker of an established population for a number of harmful algal species. The spatial patterns of cyst density in relation to sediment characteristics and hydrodynamics are still largely misunderstood. This study investigated the spatial distribution of resting cysts belonging to the Alexandrium tamarense species complex (Dinophyceae) in sediments of a Mediterranean coastal lagoon (Thau Lagoon, France). This lagoon, hosting shellfish farming, is regularly impacted by toxic Alexandrium catenella blooms. The average cyst density across the whole lagoon was rather low, <20 cysts g−1 of dry sediment (DS). However, densities varied widely among sampled stations, with the highest density (∼440 cysts g−1 DS) recorded in a shallow cove named Crique-de-l’Angle, which is the only area where dense blooms of A. catenella and A. tamarensehave been recorded in the years preceding this survey. An analysis using spatial autoregressive models demonstrated that cyst densities were highly spatially autocorrelated (indicating that close stations tended to have more similar cyst densities) with accumulation sites. With respect to sediment characteristics (5 granulometric fractions <2 mm and biochemical components), the highest densities were found in silty sediments containing high proportions of water and organic matter. Nevertheless, the linkage between cyst density and sediment structure was not always verified; this reflected the influence of hydrodynamics on the sedimentation of cysts and sediment particles, and on the dispersal of cysts away from the bloom area by wind-induced currents, suggesting that hydrodynamics was responsible for the spatially autocorrelated distribution of cyst densities.

Genovesi B, Mouillot D, Laugier T, Fiandrino A, Laabir M, Vaquer A, Grzebyk D, in press. Influences of sedimentation and hydrodynamics on the spatial distribution of Alexandrium catenella/tamarense resting cysts in a shellfish farming lagoon impacted by toxic blooms, Harmful Algae, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.hal.2013.02.002. Article.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: