Unusual coccolithophore blooms in Scottish waters

Renshaw, R, Bresnan, E, Kay, S, McEwan, R, Miller, PI and Tett, P 2023 Unusual coccolithophore blooms in Scottish waters. State of the Planet, 1-osr7, 13. 1. https://doi.org/10.5194/sp-1-osr7-13-2023

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/sp-1-osr7-13-2023


Two unusual blooms were observed in Scottish waters during summer 2021: one in the Clyde Sea and the other by the east coast of the Shetland Islands. Both had the appearance of coccolithophore blooms. Transmission electron microscopy of a sample from the Clyde Sea confirmed the presence there of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. We examine the conditions that led to these unusual blooms. In situ data are scarce, and so we draw inference from satellite data and reanalysis. For Shetland, the bloom can be seen to originate further north on the edge of the continental shelf. It is advected south and then west towards the Shetland coast by surface currents. For the Clyde Sea region, April 2021 was the coldest April of the last 30 years (National Climate Information Centre). We hypothesise that this cold weather restricted the usual spring bloom of diatoms. A restricted spring bloom would mean higher-than-usual concentrations of nutrients in the summer. It might also mean reduced numbers of grazers. These factors would provide ideal conditions for coccolithophores to flourish as temperatures and sunlight increase.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine System Modelling
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 09 Oct 2023 13:32
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2023 13:32
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/10034

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