2002 Progress Report: ECOHAB:Florida – An In-depth Study of Toxic Dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (formerly known as Gymnodinium breve)

EPA Grant Number: R827085
Title: ECOHAB:Florida – An In-depth Study of Toxic Dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (formerly known as Gymnodinium breve)
Investigators: Steidinger, Karen A. , Dolah, Francis Van , Fahnenstiel, Gary , Fournie, Jack , Janowitz, Jerald , Kamykowski, Daniel , Kirkpatrick, Gary J. , Landsberg, Jan H. , Lohrenz, Steven , Millie, David F. , Neely, Merrie Beth , Pierce, Richard , Redalje, Donald , Schofield, Oscar M.E. , Tester, Patricia A. , Tomas, Carmelo R. , Vargo, Gabriel A.
Institution: Florida Marine Research Institute , Mote Marine Laboratory , North Carolina State University , Rutgers University - New Brunswick , University of Florida , University of North Carolina , University of Southern Mississippi
Current Institution: Florida Marine Research Institute , Mote Marine Laboratory , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , North Carolina State University , Oregon State University , Rutgers University - New Brunswick , U. S. Environmental Protection Agency , University of South Florida , University of Southern Mississippi
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: October 15, 1998 through September 30, 2002 (Extended to September 30, 2003)
Project Period Covered by this Report: October 15, 2001 through September 30, 2002
Project Amount: $975,000
RFA: Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water Quality , Harmful Algal Blooms , Water , Ecosystems

Objective:

The objectives of this research project are to: (1) determine the interactions of cellular, behavioral, life cycle, and community regulation processes with environmental forcing factors during stages of bloom development; (2) model the biophysical interactions of Karenia brevis red tides on the West Florida Shelf at small scales of less than 1 km at the physiological level of K. brevis interaction with its chemical and physical habitat (as contrasted to a larger scale biophysical 3-dimensional model also being developed); (3) determine the sources of inorganic and organic nutrients that allow growth and persistence of large K. brevis blooms in coastal waters; and (4) determine the production, occurrence, fate, and effects of brevetoxins in the environment during and after K. brevis blooms.

This program is part of a larger program called ECOHAB:Florida that includes this study as well as physical oceanography, circulation patterns, and shelf-scale modeling for predicting the occurrence and transport of K. brevis red tides. The physical oceanography aspect of the program was funded under a separate grant by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and operated by the University of South Florida, Department of Marine Science. The coordinated programs provide data to conduct both large- and small-scale modeling of blooms.

Progress Summary:

Process Cruises

Dr. Kirkpatrick and his colleagues coordinated two Process cruises during the reporting period, October 20-26, 2001, within the ECOHAB:Florida control volume and again September 5-12, 2002, aboard the RV Suncoaster off Sarasota. Both bloom patches were tracked with a Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiment (CODE) drifter during consecutive days. Investigations by several ECOHAB:Florida Project Investigators (PIs) were performed using the same experiments on photobiology and toxin production previously conducted during Process cruises. Distinct differences in diel intracellular toxin production were not found, but differences could have been masked by only a fraction of cells undergoing mitosis on any night. Because the second cruise occurred late in the funding period, no results have yet been received from investigators.

Monthly Offshore Transects

Dr. Kirkpatrick continued the final year of monthly small-boat transects to 50 km offshore from Sarasota. These transects include conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) profiles and the collection of cell count, nutrient, chlorophyll a and other high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pigments, light, dissolved oxygen, brevetoxin concentration, and trace element measurements. Continuous flow-through measurements of surface temperature, salinity, fluorescence, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were made between stations.

Dr. Pierce measured brevetoxin concentrations in the water along the Sarasota transect that were detectable only when 1 x 106 cells L-1 were found (intracellular toxins), or if a bloom was decaying with extracellular brevetoxin contributing to the measurements, perhaps as a result of interaction with lower salinity bay water. This corresponds to about 12 pg brevetoxin cell-1, consistent with previous measurements.

Cell concentrations from the transects are available on the Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI) Web Site at www.floridamarine.org Exit , and hydrologic cross-sections from both Process cruises and the Sarasota transects will soon be available on the Mote Web Site at www.mote.org/~pederson/ecotrans.phtml Exit .

Hydrographic Cruises

Dr. Vargo and his staff conducted monthly synoptic cruises aboard the RV Bellows and Suncoaster to continue collecting vertical profiles of conductivity, temperature, density, and chlorophyll fluorescence at each of the more than 70 stations. Various nutrient, live and preserved cell counts, and extracted chlorophyll measurements were made at every other station. Inorganic nutrient measurement and Trichodesmium sp. counts were made by others (Hyperspectral Coupled Ocean Dynamics Experiments [HyCODE] funding) during these cruises as well. Continuous measurements of surface temperature, salinity, turbidity, particle scattering, and fluorescence were made throughout the cruise via a flow through on-deck system. Some files were averaged, while others are stand-alone measurements, and all data have been analyzed and graphed.

Bio-Optics

Dr. Oscar Schofield's specific objective during the award period was to use spectral signatures to discriminate phytoplankton taxa in vivo to detect red tides using remote sensing. During the October 2001 Process cruise, Dr. Schofield measured the maximum quantum yield for stable-charge separations of photosystem II for natural populations of K. brevis using a Heinz-Walz pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometer and measured the hyperspectral reflectance using a Satlantic tethered spectral radiometer buoy (TSRB) and completed a full diel cycle of inherent optical property measurements of a vertically migrating natural population of K. brevis. Results indicate that the vertical migration of K. brevis dramatically shifts the spectral signature of remote-sensing reflectance permitting the use K. brevis specific remote-sensing algorithms.

Biological and Environmental Interactions That Lead to Bloom Development

Dr. Kamykowski and his collaborators developed a method to quantify the lipid content of previously collected samples of K. brevis stained with Nile Red using an epifluorescent microscope. This method also works with flow cytometry. Specially designed laboratory incubation systems were developed to better characterize the migration ability of K. brevis, specifically focusing on swimming behavior in response to temperature and interclonal consistency in nutrient chemotactic and photosynthetic responses. Drs. Kamykowski and Janowitz found that in each of eight clonal cultures divided into two groups, one was more light capable than the other. This suggests that different clones have different photoresponse capabilities. Interestingly, the Wilson clone represents the low photoresponse, but is widely used for physiological studies. Vertical shear also may be an important distinguishing factor in these subpopulations. A previously developed small-scale biophysical model was modified to accommodate bloom development and transport in three dimensions. Dr. Kamykowski's behavioral experiments are ongoing.

Drs. Lohrenz and Redalje received continued funding for their second year of research on the interactions of cellular, behavioral, life cycle, and community regulation processes with environmental forcing factors during stages of bloom development. The work to be conducted included studies of pigments that function in photobiological responses of phytoplankton communities using radioactive tracers, and to participate in the ECOHAB:Process cruises and conduct in situ and on-deck experiments of the photosynthetic, physiological, and growth dynamics using natural light. Data generated from these studies was provided to Dr. Kirkpatrick for use in related work.

Drs. Lohrenz and Redalje found that vertically integrated primary production (IPP) was both higher in fall 2001 (IPP 0.92±0.48 g C m-2 d-1) and more variable than during Fall 2000 (IPP = 0.53±0.07 g C m-2 d-1). Cell counts were much greater during Fall 2001 (500-800 cells l-1 versus 100-400 cells l-1 for Fall 2000), contributing to the greater production. Analyses continue for the Fall 2002 Process cruise data; however, earlier cruise data indicate carbon-specific growth rates of 0.1-0.3 d-1. Carbon biomass values ranged from 20-30 percent of the surface particulate organic carbon (POC). Although POC remained fairly constant throughout the water column, phytoplankton C decreased steadily at depth. Microalgal POC, derived from radioactive isotope tracers, represent only a small amount of the water column POC. This means the blooms were not dominated by algal POC, which currently is being used to distinguish K. brevis blooms from other blooms using remote sensing.

Comparisons of on-deck samples indicate that shallow and deep populations differentially incorporate radiolabelled 14C into proteins or lipids. Deep samples incorporated 14C into proteins much more than into lipids as compared to the surface samples. Experiments with nutrient additions and 14C incorporation were less clear, but suggested that the K. brevis populations encountered during the cruises were N limited. The investigators also found that K. brevis blooms dominated the total scattering in light, which held true even for migrating populations, and the ratio of backscattering coefficient to absorption at both 440 and 550 nm may be unique for these blooms.

Data Management and Products

Much of the data are available to the PIs at the ECOHAB:Florida File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Web Site. Metadata from all PIs that have been collected and are available on the FTP Site. Access to the FTP Site is via password. A Web page for the general program is maintained with information relating to the ECOHAB:Florida program. Hydrologic data and cell counts from all synoptic cruises, transects, and Process cruises in addition to all incidental measurements since 1954 are available on an updated CD-ROM in Access Format. This CD-ROM was distributed to all PIs at the Sanibel PI meeting in July 2002, and is available by request.

Future Activities:

We will continue to: (1) determine the interactions of cellular, behavioral, life cycle, and community regulation processes with environmental forcing factors during stages of bloom development; (2) model the biophysical interactions of K. brevis red tides on the West Florida Shelf at small scales of less than 1 km at the physiological level of K. brevis interaction with its chemical and physical habitat (as contrasted to a larger scale biophysical 3-dimensional model also being developed); (3) determine the sources of inorganic and organic nutrients that allow growth and persistence of large K. brevis blooms in coastal waters; and (4) determine the production, occurrence, fate, and effects of brevetoxins in the environment during and after K. brevis blooms.


Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 80 publications 27 publications in selected types All 25 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Walsh JJ, Bissett WP, Dieterle DA, Fanning KA. A numerical analysis of the phytoplankton composition and optical properties of the water column during 1998 off the west coast of Florida. Journal of Marine Research. R827085 (2000)
R827085 (2001)
R827085 (2002)
not available
Journal Article Heil CA, Vargo GA, Patch J, Lester K, Merkt R, Neely MB, Spence DN, Kirkpatrick G, Pederson B, Walsh JJ. A Comparison of the Holm-Hansen and Welshmeyer chlorophyll a methods in west Florida shelf waters. Limnology and Oceanography. R827085 (2000)
R827085 (2001)
R827085 (2002)
not available
Journal Article Millie DF, Dionigi CP, Tester PA. What is the importance for understanding the molecular, cellular, and ecophysiological bases of harmful algal blooms? Journal of Phycology 1999;35:1353-1355. R827085 (2000)
R827085 (2001)
R827085 (2002)
not available
Journal Article Penta B, Walsh JJ, Tomas C, Vargo GA. Phytoplankton competition on the west Florida shelf: a simulation analysis with "red tide" implications. Limnology and Oceanography. R827085 (2000)
R827085 (2001)
R827085 (2002)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Bioavailability, Ecology, Contaminated Sediments, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Health Risk Assessment, Oceanography, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, algal blooms, Southeast, Ecology and Ecosystems, Biology, Ecological Indicators, ecological effects, ecological exposure, red tides, harmful algal blooms, ecological modeling, contaminated sediment, brevetoxins, dinoflagellate Gymnodinium breve, West Coast of Florida, Gymnodinium breve toxins, ECOHAB, dinoflagellate, ecological models, Florida

Relevant Websites:

http://www.floridamarine.org Exit
http://www.mote.org/~pederson/ecotrans.phtml Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1999
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • Final Report