Modeling Alexandrium Fundyense Blooms in the Western Gulf of Maine

EPA Grant Number: U915749
Title: Modeling Alexandrium Fundyense Blooms in the Western Gulf of Maine
Investigators: Stock, Charles A.
Institution: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: August 1, 2000 through August 1, 2003
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Aquatic Ecosystems , Fellowship - Oceanography , Academic Fellowships


The objective of this work is to use a coupled physical/biological model to explore the initiation and development of blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense in the Gulf of Maine.


A basic parameterization of the germination and growth of A. fundyense was formulated using data collected in the ECOHAB Gulf of Maine program. This parameterization was coupled with a 3D hydrodynamic simulation of the western Gulf of Maine, which was developed as part of an earlier study. The coupled model allows the simulation of blooms with realistic physical forcing. The model?s ability to recreate observed blooms will be evaluated quantitatively against field data. Various additional biological factors will be imposed on the basic model and their effect will be measured within the same quantitative framework. Robust improvement in model performance under a particular set of factors will be identified and further diagnosed. This will hopefully give further insight into the factors that control the severity, timing, and spatial distribution of A. fundyense blooms in the Western Gulf of Maine.

Expected Results:

The hypotheses include: (1) germination of benthic A. fundyense cysts in off-shore sediments is the primary source of new cells leading to blooms in the western Gulf of Maine; and (2) bloom development is heavily dependent on nutrient input from the Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers.

Supplemental Keywords:

harmful algal blooms, Gulf of Maine, Northeast, modeling., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecology, State, Oceanography, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Microbiology, algal blooms, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Alexandrium Blooms, marine ecosystem, aquatic ecosystem, bloom dynamics, algal growth, Gulf of Maine, ecosystem health, ecological models

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • 2002
  • Final