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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps14081

Population dynamics and reproduction of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans in Jiaozhou Bay, China

Yingxin Zhang, Shuqun Song, Tiantian Chen, Xiaoxia Sun, Caiwen Li*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Outbreaks of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate, Noctiluca scintillans, have impacted the Chinese coastal ecosystem for decades; however, which and how environmental factors affect its reproductive pattern and further influence its population dynamics remain to be investigated. From January 2019 to January 2020, nine cruises were conducted at 12 stations in Jiaozhou Bay, China. The different life stages of N. scintillans were distinguished and quantified with the assistance of microscopic observation and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). N. scintillans was seasonally abundant in winter-spring and September, but depleted in summer and October. The asexual reproduction of N. scintillans, which appeared as binary fission, mainly occurred in colder water (< 11 °C), and could be the major reproduction mode driving its population growth in March-April. In September, even though the asexual mode is by this time restricted by high water temperatures (> 26 °C), N. scintillans blooms still occurred with the assistance of sexual reproduction and the potential coupling effect of favorable food source and physical environment, in which the chain-forming diatoms were dominant in phytoplankton community and gametes could be accumulated by continuous soft southeast winds and rainless weather.