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The Center for the Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem

A tale of two Gulf spills: A research consortium of 19 institutions from 5 countries studying the impacts of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico.

Karenia brevis blooms on the West Florida Shelf: A comparative study of the robust 2012 bloom and the nearly null 2013 event

  • Monday, 23 May 2016 13:53

Abstract:

Harmful algal blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis require an upwelling circulation to manifest along the coastline of the West Florida Continental Shelf. Too much upwelling, however, can impede bloom formation by increasing inorganic nutrient levels to the point where faster growing phytoplankton such as diatoms may out-compete the slower growing K. brevis, as occurred in 1998 and 2010. Both 2012 and 2013 experienced persistent upwelling, but only 2012 exhibited a robust harmful algal bloom. Here we examine the subtle differences in the coastal ocean circulation between those two years that led to the disparate bloom evolutions.

Source: Weisberg, R.H., Zheng, L., Liu, Y., Corcoran, A. A., Lembke, C., Hu, C., Lenes, J.M., Walsh, J.J., Karenia brevis blooms on the West Florida Shelf: A comparative study of the robust 2012 bloom and the nearly null 2013 event, Continental Shelf Research, Volume 120, 1 June 2016, Pages 106-121

Fig 5. - Karenia brevis abundance along the southwest Florida Shelf (A) between September and November 2012, (B) during December 2012, (C) between January to March 2013, and (D) between September and November 2013. Dots represent single samples collected via routine monitoring and multiple event response cruises conducted during each period. In cases where multiple concentrations were present at a single location, the samples with the greatest K. brevis abundance are overlaid onto samples with a lower abundance.