MEPS 405:131-145 (2010)  -  doi:10.3354/meps08497

Relationships among upwelling, phytoplankton blooms, and phycotoxins in coastal Oregon shellfish

J. F. Tweddle1,10,*, P. G. Strutton1, D. G. Foley2,3, L. O’Higgins4, A. M. Wood5,6, B. Scott5,11, R. C. Everroad5,12, W. T. Peterson7, D. Cannon8, M. Hunter9, Z. Forster9

1College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Science, Oregon State University, 104 COAS Admin Bldg, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
2NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 1352 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, California 93950, USA
3Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii, 1000 Pope Rd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
4Cooperative Institute for Marine Research Studies, Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 Marine Science Drive, Newport, Oregon 97365, USA
5Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403, USA
6Atlantic Oceanographic and Meterological Laboratory, NOAA, Miami, Florida 33129, USA
7NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Centre, Newport Research Station—Bldg 955, 2032 SE OSU Drive, Newport, Oregon 97365, USA
8Oregon Department of Agriculture, 635 Capitol St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301-2532, USA
9Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2001 Marine Drive, Astoria, Oregon 97103, USA
10Present address: Department of Earth Sciences, Boston University, 675 Commonwealth Ave Rm 141, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA
11Present address: Nelson Laboratories, 6280 South Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123, USA
12Present address: RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan

ABSTRACT: Climatologies derived from satellite data (1998 to 2007) were used to elucidate seasonal and latitudinal patterns in winds, sea surface temperature (SST), and chlorophyll concentrations (chl) over the Oregon shelf. These were further used to reveal oceanographic conditions normally associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs) and toxic shellfish events along the Oregon coast. South of 43°N, around Cape Blanco, summer upwelling started earlier and finished later than north of 43°N. Spring blooms occur when light limitation is relieved, before the initiation of upwelling, and secondary, more intense blooms occur approximately 2 wk after upwelling is established. North of 45°N, SST and chl are heavily influenced by the Columbia River plume, which delays upwelling-driven cooling of the surface coastal ocean in spring, and causes phytoplankton blooms (as indicated by increased chl) earlier than expected. The presence of saxitoxin in coastal shellfish, which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning, was generally associated with late summer upwelling. The presence of domoic acid in shellfish, which leads to amnesic shellfish poisoning, was greatest during the transition between upwelling and downwelling regimes. This work demonstrates that satellite data can indicate physical situations when HABs are more likely to occur, thus providing a management tool useful in predicting or monitoring HABs.


KEY WORDS: Oregon coast · California Current · Upwelling · Bloom timing · Harmful algae · Paralytic shellfish poisoning · Domoic acid poisoning · Saxitoxin


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Cite this article as: Tweddle JF, Strutton PG, Foley DG, O’Higgins L and others (2010) Relationships among upwelling, phytoplankton blooms, and phycotoxins in coastal Oregon shellfish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 405:131-145

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