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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 83:15-34 (2019)  -  DOI:

Diversity and toxic potential of algal bloom-forming species from Takaroa lagoon (Tuamotu, French Polynesia): a field and mesocosm study

Martine Rodier1,*, Sébastien Longo2, Kevin Henry2, André Ung2, Alain Lo-Yat3, H. Taiana Darius2, Jérôme Viallon2, Beatriz Beker4, Bruno Delesalle5, Mireille Chinain2

1Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR 241 EIO (Université de la Polynésie, IRD, Institut Louis Malardé, IFREMER), Laboratoire d’Excellence CORAIL, Faa’a, Tahiti, French Polynesia
2Laboratoire des Micro-Algues Toxiques, Institut Louis Malardé, UMR 241 EIO, 98713 Papeete-Tahiti, French Polynesia 3Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), Centre du Pacifique, UMR 241 EIO (UPF, IRD, ILM, IFREMER), Laboratoire d’Excellence CORAIL, Vairao, Tahiti, French Polynesia
4Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin (LEMAR), UMR 6539 CNRS, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Place Nicolas Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France
5EPHE, PSL Université, UPVD-CNRS, USR3278 CRIOBE, 66860 Perpignan, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Pearl farming lagoons are economically important, yet poorly studied ecosystems in French Polynesia. This paper describes a study conducted in 2016 in Takaroa (Tuamotu Archipelago), an atoll recurrently affected by harmful algal bloom (HAB) events. The objectives were to gain insight into phytoplankton community composition, identify the main bloom-forming species and investigate their potential for toxicity. A mesocosm approach was used to assess the response of phytoplankton communities to 3 nutrient treatments: Conway with Si, Si-depleted f/2 and a commercial N-P fertilizer. In total, 87 morpho-species were described from Takaroa lagoon, with dinoflagellates as the most diverse group. Diatoms (Extubocellulus sp., Cylindrotheca closterium, Nitzschia spp.), dinoflagellates (Gymnodinium spp., Heterocapsa spp.) and flagellates (Cryptomonas sp., Pyraminonas spp.) were among the major bloom-forming species identified. Most markedly, Extubocellulus sp., a diatom never reported from French Polynesia before, was able to bloom even in Si-poor environments. Additionally, in vitro cultures of 12 bloom-forming strains were successfully established and tested for their toxicity. Preliminary results suggest that 9 strains, including dinoflagellates (Prorocentrum lima, Amphidinium spp., Heterocapsa sp.), Pyraminonadales (Pyramimonas sp.) and cryptophytes (Cryptomonas sp.), are the likely producers of cyclic imine neurotoxins and toxins acting on voltage-gated sodium channels. The contribution of these toxins to the mortality events previously reported in Takaroa lagoon is further discussed. Overall, this study highlights the relevance of a mesocosm approach which can be applied to other understudied atolls of French Polynesia recurrently threatened by HABs.

KEY WORDS: Phytoplankton · Taxonomy · Mesocosm · Bloom-forming species · Toxicity · French Polynesian lagoons

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Cite this article as: Rodier M, Longo S, Henry K, Ung A and others (2019) Diversity and toxic potential of algal bloom-forming species from Takaroa lagoon (Tuamotu, French Polynesia): a field and mesocosm study. Aquat Microb Ecol 83:15-34.

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