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8 May 2003 Detection of novel algal blooms of Raphidophytes in the Eastern North Sea with satellite images of MOS and SeaWiFS
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Since 1998 unusual algal blooms of different toxic Raphidophyte species have been observed during April and beginning of May in the northeastern part of the North Sea including the Skagerrak as well as in the Kattegatt region. The algal blooms of Raphidophytes took place after the spring bloom, which normally occurs in this area during March, but before the anually reoccurring bloom of Phaeocystis, which usually is observed during May, when water temperatures exceed 15°C. The Raphidophyte blooms were mainly represented by two different Chattonella species and by Heterosigma akashiwo. The toxic algal blooms which have been identified in 1998, 2000 and 2001 can appear with maximum cell numbers of 24 mill. Cells/l (Backe-Hansen, 1999) and Chlorophyll values up to 80 μg/l. Satellite images of MOS and SeaWiFs show the beginning of the blooms west of Jutland (Denmark) and apparently were advected with the Jutland current towards the northeast. Later, the Raphidophyte blooms were observed along the Swedish and Norwegian west coast and extended along the Norwegian south coast up to 6°East, following the extensions of the Baltic current. The causative species of blooms, Chattonella sp., has shown strong phototactic behavior. In addition to 19'-butanoyloxyfucoxanthin, the Chattonella sp. contains three kind of carotenoids which other species do not have. Thus, the observations from microscopy and pigment profile from HPLC suggest that this species in the German Bight should be considered as a new HAB species. The reoccurrence of Chattonella blooms may indicate the response of algae to some kind of environmental change in the North Sea. Determination of the extend and the advection of toxic microalgae blooms as well as predictions through satellite remote sensing in the coastal areas of Denmark, Sweden and southern Norway, is also of great economic importance for the extensive mariculture ventures in this region, which repeatedly have suffered from the effects of toxic algal blooms.
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Douding Lu, Jeanette Goebel, Matthias Hetscher, U. Horstmann, and Alexander Davidov "Detection of novel algal blooms of Raphidophytes in the Eastern North Sea with satellite images of MOS and SeaWiFS", Proc. SPIE 4892, Ocean Remote Sensing and Applications, (8 May 2003);

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