Perceived global increase in algal blooms is attributable to intensified monitoring and emerging bloom impacts

Type Article
Date 2021-06
Language English
Author(s) Hallegraeff Gustaaf M.1, Anderson Donald M.2, Belin CatherineORCID3, Bottein Marie-Yasmine DechraouiORCID4, Bresnan Eileen5, Chinain MireilleORCID6, Enevoldsen Henrik7, Iwataki MitsunoriORCID8, Karlson BengtORCID9, McKenzie Cynthia H.ORCID10, Sunesen InésORCID11, Pitcher Grant C.12, Provoost PieterORCID13, Richardson AnthonyORCID14, Schweibold Laura15, Tester Patricia A.16, Trainer Vera L.17, Yñiguez Aletta T.ORCID18, Zingone AdrianaORCID19
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia
2 : Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA
3 : IFREMER, Brest, France
4 : Ecotoxicology and sustainable development Expertise (ECODD), Valbonne, France
5 : Marine Scotland, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
6 : Laboratory of Marine Biotoxins, Institut Louis Malardé-UMR241 EIO, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
7 : Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
8 : Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
9 : Oceanographic Research, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Västra Frölunda, Sweden
10 : Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. John’s, NL, Canada
11 : División Ficología Dr. Sebastián Guarrera, FCNyM, Paseo del Bosque s/n, CONICET—UNLP, La Plata, Argentina
12 : Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa
13 : IOC Project Office for IODE, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, Oostende, Belgium
14 : CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Queensland Biosciences Precinct (QBP), St Lucia, Qld, Australia
15 : School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld, Australia
16 : Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Plouzané, France
17 : Ocean Tester, LLC, Beaufort, NC, USA
18 : Environmental and Fisheries Sciences Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, WA, USA
19 : Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
20 : Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy
Source Communications Earth & Environment (2662-4435) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2021-06 , Vol. 2 , N. 1 , P. 117 (10p.)
DOI 10.1038/s43247-021-00178-8
WOS© Times Cited 141

Global trends in the occurrence, toxicity and risk posed by harmful algal blooms to natural systems, human health and coastal economies are poorly constrained, but are widely thought to be increasing due to climate change and nutrient pollution. Here, we conduct a statistical analysis on a global dataset extracted from the Harmful Algae Event Database and Ocean Biodiversity Information System for the period 1985–2018 to investigate temporal trends in the frequency and distribution of marine harmful algal blooms. We find no uniform global trend in the number of harmful algal events and their distribution over time, once data were adjusted for regional variations in monitoring effort. Varying and contrasting regional trends were driven by differences in bloom species, type and emergent impacts. Our findings suggest that intensified monitoring efforts associated with increased aquaculture production are responsible for the perceived increase in harmful algae events and that there is no empirical support for broad statements regarding increasing global trends. Instead, trends need to be considered regionally and at the species level.

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Hallegraeff Gustaaf M., Anderson Donald M., Belin Catherine, Bottein Marie-Yasmine Dechraoui, Bresnan Eileen, Chinain Mireille, Enevoldsen Henrik, Iwataki Mitsunori, Karlson Bengt, McKenzie Cynthia H., Sunesen Inés, Pitcher Grant C., Provoost Pieter, Richardson Anthony, Schweibold Laura, Tester Patricia A., Trainer Vera L., Yñiguez Aletta T., Zingone Adriana (2021). Perceived global increase in algal blooms is attributable to intensified monitoring and emerging bloom impacts. Communications Earth & Environment, 2(1), 117 (10p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :