Harmful Algal Blooms and their impacts on shellfish mariculture follow regionally distinct patterns of water circulation in the western English Channel during the 2018 heatwave

Ross Brown, A; Lilley, MKS; Shutler, J; Widdicombe, CE; Rooks, PA; McEvoy, AJ; Torres, R; Artioli, Y; Rawle, G; Homyard, J; Tyler, CR; Lowe, C. 2022 Harmful Algal Blooms and their impacts on shellfish mariculture follow regionally distinct patterns of water circulation in the western English Channel during the 2018 heatwave. Harmful Algae, 111. 102166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2021.102166

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2021.102166

Abstract/Summary

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) can have severe ecological, societal and economic impacts upon marine ecosystems, human health and the seafood industry. We evaluated changes in marine plankton communities with prevailing physico-chemical conditions throughout an exceptionally warm summer (2018), to elucidate key factors governing HABs and their impacts on shellfish mariculture in the western English Channel. Despite warm, stable weather conditions and widespread seasonal stratification throughout the summer, divergent plankton community compositions were observed at two rope-grown mussel (Mytilus edulis) farms (St Austell Bay and Lyme Bay) and a long-term ecological research LTER site (Plymouth L4). There were significant differences between sites in the abundances of HAB species, including Dinophysis spp. and Karenia mikimotoi, whose cell counts bloomed in excess of UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) advisory ‘trigger’ levels at Plymouth L4 and St Austell Bay, but not at the Lyme Bay site. The K. mikimotoi bloom occurred over two weeks in August and comprised up to 88% of the standing phytoplankton biomass in St Austell Bay. Dinophysis spp. also bloomed here from May to September, constituting up to 28% of phytoplankton biomass. This protracted bloom resulted in concentrations of Dinophysis toxins 1 & 2 and pectenotoxins and okadaic acid in shellfish, which closed shellfish harvesting operations on farms located in St Austell Bay, and other shellfish sites in the west of the western English Channel (but not in the east of the region). Inter-site differences in the abundances of these and other HAB species were associated with variations in water circulation and co-occurring phytoplankton and zooplankton communities. Furthermore, plankton monitoring data obtained from the L4 site over the past 3 decades showed HAB species (including Dinophysis spp.) with abundances commonly occurring above advisory trigger levels during warmer periods, such as that coinciding with our study. Under projected climate warming these blooms are likely to continue to be governed by regionally distinct patterns of water circulation, which need to be taken into account in marine spatial planning, when assessing the suitability of new shellfish mariculture sites

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Climate change HABs Environmental factors Shellfish poisoning Spatial planning Tidal front
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Single Centre NC - CLASS
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Western Channel Observatory
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 05 Jan 2022 13:44
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2022 13:44
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9510

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