Spatial distribution and multiannual trends of potentially toxic microalgae in shellfish farms along the Sardinian coast (NW Mediterranean Sea)

Anna Maria Bazzoni, Tiziana Caddeo, Silvia Pulina, Bachisio M Padedda, Cecilia T Satta, Nicola Sechi, Antonella Lugliè
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2015, 187 (3): 86
In this study, the geographical distribution and multiannual trends of potentially toxic harmful algal species (HAS) were analysed at 18 mussel farms in Sardinia (Italy, North-Western Mediterranean Sea) using data derived from the Sardinian Regional Monitoring Programme (1988-2012). The results showed an increasing number of potentially toxic microalgae over the study period. Alexandrium catenella and Alexandrium minutum were the most harmful species detected. From 2002 to 2009, these species caused eight paralytic shellfish poisoning-positive events which temporarily stopped commercial trade of mussels. The statistical analysis indicated that some taxa exhibited temporal increasing trends in their abundance (e.g. Pseudo-nitzschia spp.), significant decrements (e.g. Dinophysis sp.), or both increasing and decreasing significant trends (e.g. A. minutum) at different sites, indicating the necessity of further in-depth studies, especially on certain taxa. Overall, the statistical elaboration of the long-term data provided useful signals for early detection of shellfish contamination by different potentially toxic HAS in defined sites. These signals can be used to develop best management practices.

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