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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 371:143-153 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07681

Co-occurrence of dinoflagellate and cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in southwest Florida coastal waters: dual nutrient (N and P) input controls

Hans W. Paerl1,*, Jennifer J. Joyner1, Alan R. Joyner1, Karen Arthur2, Valerie Paul2, Judith M. O’Neil3, Cynthia A. Heil4

1Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3431 Arendell Street, Morehead City, North Carolina 28557, USA
2Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, 701 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949, USA
3Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, Maryland 21613, USA
4Fish and Wildlife Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 100 Eighth Avenue SE, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5020, USA

ABSTRACT: During July 2006, 2 distinctly different harmful algal blooms (HABs), one dominated by the pelagic red tide dinoflagellates Karenia spp. and the other by the benthic cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula, occurred simultaneously in the coastal embayments surrounding Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida, USA. The co-occurring HABs were investigated using in situ bioassays with additions of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) alone and in combination to assess nutrient controls of these ‘dueling’ toxin-producing species. Photosynthetic, biomass (chlorophyll a), and (in L. majuscula) nitrogen fixation responses to nutrient enrichment were examined over 4 d. Primary productivity in Karenia spp. was consistently stimulated by N additions, while P additions failed to show stimulation. When added in combination with N, P did not lead to additional stimulation above N alone. Similar patterns of chlorophyll a stimulation were observed. These patterns were observed at 2 d, after which the cells fell out of suspension. Nutrient stimulation of L. majuscula metabolic activities as well as biomass production was smaller and much slower, relative to controls, than responses observed in Karenia spp. After the demise of Karenia spp., L. majuscula was able to continue utilizing subsequent nutrient additions, and it responded most strongly to the N+P additions after 4 d. This study confirms previous estuarine and coastal studies that indicated that when non-N2-fixing HABs co-occur with N2-fixing cyanobacterial HAB species, both N and P inputs need to be carefully considered and, in all likelihood, controlled.


KEY WORDS: Lyngbya · Karenia · Charlotte Harbor · Sanibel and Captiva Islands · Florida · Blooms · Nutrients


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Cite this article as:   Paerl HW, Joyner JJ, Joyner AR, Arthur K, Paul V, O’Neil JM, Heil CA (2008) Co-occurrence of dinoflagellate and cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in southwest Florida coastal waters: dual nutrient (N and P) input controls. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 371:143-153. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07681

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