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Subsurface Algae Seeds Surface Harmful Algal Blooms in Southern California

Published on: 10/29/2015
Primary Contact(s): marc.suddleson@noaa.gov

Seegers gliderRecently 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 determinedoffshore subsurface blooms can be an important source for ‘seeding’ surfacePseudo-nitzschia

Autonomous underwater gliders (left and center) and moored Environmental Sample Processors (right) can provide a multidimensional characterization of the development and evolution of harmful algal blooms. Photo credits: Arvind Pereira , University of Southern California, Los Angeles (gliders) and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (ESP)

Autonomous underwater gliders (top image) and moored Environmental Sample Processors (bottom) can provide a multidimensional characterization of the development and evolution of harmful algal blooms. Credits: Arvind Pereira, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (gliders) and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (ESP).

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.

 

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