Global and local factors driving the phenology of Alexandrium minutum (Halim) blooms and its toxicity

The dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum is a toxic bloom-forming species distributed worldwide. The mechanisms driving and promoting the species blooms and their toxicity are studied and presented here. Most previously published work focuses on local and/or short-term scales. In this study, a broad temporal and spatial approach is addressed using time series covering several sites over several years and combining environmental variables and A. minutum abundances from the French English Channel − Atlantic coasts. Data were explored by means of phenology and threshold analysis.

The A. minutum bloom characteristics are defined. Only one bloom per year is measured and it may reach more than a million of cells L−1. Bloom period extends from April to October and the bloom length ranges from two weeks to six months. In the ecosystems studied, water temperature and river flow, as regional and local factors respectively, are the main environmental drivers influencing the magnitude, growth rate and length of the blooms. Bloom toxicity is linked to the bloom maximum abundance and river flow. This work provides new knowledge for further managing tools for A. minutum blooms in the ecosystems studied.


Alexandrium minutum, PSP toxicity, HAB, Bloom phenology, Threshold analysis, Monitoring long time-series

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How to cite
Guallar Carles, Bacher Cedric, Chapelle Annie (2017). Global and local factors driving the phenology of Alexandrium minutum (Halim) blooms and its toxicity. Harmful Algae. 67. 44-60.,

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