Harmful algal blooms (HABs), dissolved organic matter (DOM), and planktonic microbial community dynamics at a near-shore and a harbour station influenced by upwelling (SW Iberian Peninsula)

TitleHarmful algal blooms (HABs), dissolved organic matter (DOM), and planktonic microbial community dynamics at a near-shore and a harbour station influenced by upwelling (SW Iberian Peninsula)
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Year Published2011
Volume65
Number4
Pages401-413
AbstractThe surface microalgal community, including harmful species, dissolved organic matter (DOM), and bacterial and viral populations were studied during an annual cycle (November 2007-October 2008) in a Near-shore (NS) and a Harbour (H) station located in an upwelling area (Sagres, SW Iberian Peninsula). The higher water residence time, water stability and shallowness of harbours in comparison with open waters likely contributed to the differences found between stations regarding chemical variables, statistical correlations and harmful algal proliferations. Also, several differences were noticed from a previous assessment (Loureiro et al., 2005) including higher SST, lower nitrate and chlorophyll a concentrations, along with a shift in the microplankton community structure from diatom to nanoflagellate predominance. These variations feasibly reflect the response of this dynamic system to regional environmental modifications contributing to the understanding of common patterns in environmental change trends. The division of the sampling period into (1) non-upwelling (Non-Uw), (2) "spin-up" of upwelling (SU-Uw), and (3) "spin-down" and relaxation-downwelling (SD-Rel) stages allowed the identification of natural groupings of microplankton samples by Multi Dimensional Scaling (MDS) analysis. Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and viruses were the most significant abiotic and biotic variables, respectively, contributing to the dissimilarities between these stages (SIMPER analysis) and, therefore, potentially affecting the microplankton community structure. Harmful algal species and a stable viral community appeared to be favoured by SD-Rel conditions. Data seem to indicate that both Gymnodinium catenatum and Heterosigma akashiwo, the most abundant potentially harmful species, have been imported into the sampling area. Also, the H location, together with potential retention sites developing around the Cabo de Sao Vicente upwelling centre, may contribute to the local accumulation of harmful species. The associations found between harmful algal species and bacterioplankton and virioplankton call for detailed studies in order to evaluate species-specific interactions.