Recently published findings from an NCCOS supported study in the central Southern California Bight indicate that harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Pseudo-nitzschia can develop offshore and below the surface prior to appearance near surface coastal waters. Surface blooms during the study period coincided with periods of upwelling or other processes that caused subsurface algal populations to move higher up in the water column.
The study determined that offshore subsurface blooms can be an important source for 'seeding' surface Pseudo-nitzschia blooms in southern California. Autonomous underwater gliders, environmental sample processors, rapid toxin detection kits, and an increased regional capacity for adaptive HAB sampling and forecasting were critical to HAB event responses in the region over the past decade. These advances were funded in large part by the MERHAB RAPDALERT and ECOHAB Hotspots projects.
Learn more from the paper published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography by lead author Bridget Seegers, Ph.D., currently a National Sea Grant Knauss Fellow at NOAA.
For more information on NCCOS MERHAB and ECOHAB involvement, contact Marc.Suddleson@noaa.gov.