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Proceedings Paper

Dramatic blooms of Prymnesium sp. and Alexandrium margalefii in the Salton Sea, California
Author(s): Mary Ann Tiffany; Jennifer Wolny; Matthew Garrett; Karen Steidinger; Stuart H. Hurlbert
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Paper Abstract

In early 2006, unusual algal blooms of two species occurred in the Salton Sea, a large salt lake in southern California. In mid-January local residents reported bioluminescence in the Sea. Starting in February, large rafts of long-lasting foam, also bioluminescent, were observed as well. Microscopy investigations on water and sediment samples collected in March showed the marine dinoflagellate, Alexandrium margalefii, and the prymnesiophyte, Prymnesium sp., both previously unreported in the Salton Sea, to be abundant. Bioluminescence and foam production continued through March. Other dinoflagellate species, recorded during earlier studies, were rare or not detected during these blooms. Despite the fact that many Alexandrium species are known paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) producers, preliminary saxitoxin tests on this population of A. margalefii were negative. Previous reports on A. margalefii do not mention bioluminescence. It appears that the foam was caused by the Prymnesium sp. bloom, probably via protein-rich exudates and lysis of other algal cells, and its glow was due to entrained A. margalefii. This is the first report of A. margalefii in U.S. waters and the first report of it in a lake.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2008
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7097, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI, 70970T (28 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.800919
Show Author Affiliations
Mary Ann Tiffany, San Diego State Univ. (United States)
Jennifer Wolny, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (United States)
Florida Institute of Oceanography (United States)
Matthew Garrett, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (United States)
Florida Institute of Oceanography (United States)
Karen Steidinger, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (United States)
Florida Institute of Oceanography (United States)
Stuart H. Hurlbert, San Diego State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7097:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert Victor Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C.W. Davies, Editor(s)

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