Harmful algal bloom species and phosphate-processing effluent: field and laboratory studies

Matthew Garrett, Jennifer Wolny, Earnest Truby, Cynthia Heil, Charles Kovach
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 62 (3): 596-601
In 2002, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection began discharging phosphate-processing effluent into Bishop Harbor, an estuary within Tampa Bay. Because of concerns that the effluent would serve as a nutrient source for blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, a field monitoring program was established and laboratory bioassays were conducted. Several harmful algal bloom (HAB) species, including Prorocentrum minimum and Heterosigma akashiwo, were observed in bloom concentrations adjacent to the effluent discharge site. Blooms of diatoms were widespread throughout Bishop Harbor. K. brevis was observed with cell concentrations decreasing with increasing proximity to the effluent discharge site. Bioassays using effluent as a nutrient source for K. brevis resulted in decreased cell yields, increased growth rates, and increased time to log-phase growth. The responses of HAB species within Bishop Harbor and of K. brevis to effluent in bioassays suggested that HAB species differ in their response to phosphate-processing effluent.

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