Climate variability and oceanographic settings associated with interannual variability in the initiation of Dinophysis acuminata blooms

Patricio A Díaz, Beatriz Reguera, Manuel Ruiz-Villarreal, Yolanda Pazos, Lourdes Velo-Suárez, Henrick Berger, Marc Sourisseau
Marine Drugs 2013, 11 (8): 2964-81
In 2012, there were exceptional blooms of D. acuminata in early spring in what appeared to be a mesoscale event affecting Western Iberia and the Bay of Biscay. The objective of this work was to identify common climatic patterns to explain the observed anomalies in two important aquaculture sites, the Galician Rías Baixas (NW Spain) and Arcachon Bay (SW France). Here, we examine climate variability through physical-biological couplings, Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies and time of initiation of the upwelling season and its intensity over several decades. In 2012, the mesoscale features common to the two sites were positive anomalies in SST and unusual wind patterns. These led to an atypical predominance of upwelling in winter in the Galician Rías, and increased haline stratification associated with a southward advection of the Gironde plume in Arcachon Bay. Both scenarios promoted an early phytoplankton growth season and increased stability that enhanced D. acuminata growth. Therefore, a common climate anomaly caused exceptional blooms of D. acuminata in two distant regions through different triggering mechanisms. These results increase our capability to predict intense diarrhetic shellfish poisoning outbreaks in the early spring from observations in the preceding winter.

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