Distribution of Alexandrium tamarense in Drake Passage and the threat of harmful algal blooms in the Antarctic Ocean SCOPUS KCI

Distribution of Alexandrium tamarense in Drake Passage and the threat of harmful algal blooms in the Antarctic Ocean
Ho, K.-C.; Kang, S.-H.; Lam, I.H.Y.; Hodgkiss, I.J.
Publication Year
While phytoplankton diversity and productivity in the Southern Ocean has been widely studied in recent years, most attention has been given to elucidating environmental factors that affect the dynamics of micro-plankton (mainly diatoms) and nano-plankton (mainly Phaeocystis antarctica). Only limited efforts have been given to studying the occurrence and the potential risks associated with the blooming of dinoflagellates in the relevant waters. This study focused on the appearance and toxicological characteristics of a toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium tamarense, identified and isolated from the Drake Passage in a research cruise from November to December 2001. The appearance of A. tamarense in the Southern Ocean indicates the risk of a paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) outbreak there and is therefore of scientific concern. Results showed that while the overall quantity of A. tamarense in water samples from 30 meters below the sea surface often comprised less than 0.1% of the total population of phytoplankton, the highest concentration of A. tamarense (20 cells L-1) was recorded in the portion of the Southern Ocean between the southern end of South America and the Falkland Islands. Waters near the Polar Front contained the second highest concentrations of 10-15 cells L-1. A. tamarense was however rarely found in waters near the southern side of the Polar Front, indicating that cold sea temperatures near the Antarctic ice does not favor the growth of this dinoflagellate. One strain of A. tamarense from this cruise was isolated and cultured for further study in the laboratory. Experiments showed that this strain of A. tamarense has a high tolerance to temperature variations and could survive at temperatures ranging from 5-26°C. This shows the cosmopolitan nature of A. tamarense. With regard to the algal toxins produced, this strain of A. tamarense produced mainly C-2 toxins but very little saxitoxin and gonyautoxin. The toxicological property of this A. tamarense strain coincided with a massive death of penguins in the Falkland Islands in December 2002 to January 2003.
Bibliographic Citation
Ocean and Polar Research, v.25, no.4, pp.625 - 631, 2003
Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute
Alexandrium tamarense; Antarctic Ocean; Harmful algae; Toxicity
Document Type
Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute
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