Application of 210Pb-derived sedimentation rates and dinoflagellate cyst analyses in understanding Pyrodinium bahamense harmful algal blooms in Manila Bay and Malampaya Sound, Philippines

E Z Sombrito, A dM Bulos, E J Sta Maria, M C V Honrado, Rhodora V Azanza, Elsa F Furio
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 2004, 76 (1): 177-94
The number of areas affected by toxic harmful algal bloom (HAB) in the Philippines has been increasing since its first recorded occurrence in 1983. Thus far, HAB has been reported in about 20 areas in the Philippines including major fishery production areas. The HAB-causing organism (Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum) produces a cyst during its life cycle. Pyrodinium cysts which are deposited in the sediment column may play a role in initiating a toxic bloom. 210Pb-derived sedimentation rate studies in the two important fishing grounds of Manila Bay and Malampaya Sound, Palawan have shown that Pyrodinium cysts may have been present in the sediment even before the first recorded toxic algal bloom in these areas. High sedimentation rates (approximately 1 cm/year) have been observed in the northern and western parts of Manila Bay. The results indicate that the sedimentation processes occurring in these bays would require subsurface cyst concentration analysis in evaluating the potential of an area to act as seed bed.

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